Pragmatic Play is a developer of games for online casinos. This page reviews and lists casinos running its software. Last updated: February 7, 2019.
Pragmatic Play is the new name for controversial casino software provider TopGame, which rebranded in 2015. The earlier incarnation of the company earned an awful reputation for many reasons including publishing games of questionable fairness, running casinos with tiny payout limits and T&Cs designed to make it as difficult as possible to withdraw, disappearing progressive jackpot pools, and engaging in marketing schemes that misrepresented big winners at their casinos. It is no wonder that they decided a rebrand was necessary.
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Pragmatic Play develops a series of slots and table games that are deployed to online casino operators throughout the world. The games are pretty diverse in terms of options available, and include mobile and live dealer platforms to offer a variety of gaming options. Those looking to play mobile games can do so through their smartphone or tablet browser, as no app downloads are required to get in on the action. The game have been updated to run in browsers using HTML5 coding standards.
The games themselves are fairly average, featuring decent graphics and stereotypical themes that you have seen elsewhere. Games like Sugar Rush, Dwarven Gold, and New Tales of Egypt showcase a custom Pragmatic Play feel that we can only say are pretty mediocre. The Live Dealer platform isn't the smoothest that we have seen, but it appears to get the job done, offering punters who may not otherwise have an option the chance to play webcasted table games from the comfort of their own home.
TopGame used to offer three major seven figure progressive jackpots that were funded by player contributions. Due to the tiny monthly payment limits and awful reputation of most TopGame licensees we recommended that people not play them. However we did track them for more than five years and during that time they were never won. These games did not make the transition to Pragmatic Play and we have never heard a satisfactory explanation of what happened to the accumulated player contributions. They certainly were not refunded to players or transferred to any new games run by Pragmatic Play. All we can surmise is that the owner(s) of TopGame pocketed the money. The same person(s) are now in charge of Pragmatic Play.
Back in 2009, flagship TopGame licensee Rome Casino was busted running several "buggy" slots that did not include wild symbols on the first and/or fifth reels in games such as Diablo 13, Wild Sevens, and Dougies Delights. This made it impossible for players to win the major jackpot on each game as they required a payline of five wilds to win. It also significantly lowered the payout rates of the games when you consider all the other winning combinations that would no longer be completed by the missing wild symbols.
TopGame claimed that it was merely a bug caused by the propagation of testing configurations into live games. To its credit it made restitution to affected players. However the wider community was left to wonder how on earth such a bug could possibly get into a production gaming system. There is no plausible reason that could explain why they would be testing their games with such a configuration. The fact such a so-called "bug" was allowed to go live once again highlights the lack of consumer protection when online casinos and their operators are set up in unregulated and unaccountable jurisdictions.
Aside from that extremely dubious incident we have received many complaints from players about being slow paid, or not paid at all, by many TopGame white label casinos over the years. Many of these casinos continue to operate today as multi-provider casinos that include games from Pragmatic Play and Betsoft, another awful provider. Interestingly the old TopGame games can still be found under the name "Octopus Gaming" for players in the United States at all of these casinos. The recurring scenario seems to be that its licensees are inexperienced affiliate operators who are either unable to maintain an adequate cashflow to pay their obligations in a timely manner, or simply unwilling to pay winners. For example, see Royal Kings and Rich Casino.
There have also been public spats and involvement in tit-for-tat DDoS attacks between TopGame and its competition, and even its own white label licensees at various times. Or the dubious story of the man we dubbed the world's luckiest punter who supposedly won the same gold bar at every single different TopGame, and later Pragmatic Play, casino. All in all, there is far too much smoke for there not to be a fire, so we recommend that players steer clear of this company and its products altogether.
Pragmatic Play has engaged in considerable effort to conceal their connection to TopGame. It has gone so far as to threaten forum and website operators with legal action for stating this assertion. In some cases they have asked forum owners to publish statements contradicting any assertions that the two companies were related, as well as having posts that mention this association removed from the internet. We know this because they tried it on us. However Casino Listings is not so easily intimidated and in the interests of transparency we offer proof that supports what we are saying here.
Both organisations were/are owned by the same person, named David Barzilay. Pragmatic Play and associated companies, supposedly founded in 2015, were acquired by a company known as IBID Group in 2016 and 2017. Scroll down to the "key people" section of IBID Group's website and you will find David Barzilay listed as the founder and managing partner. Here is a screenshot in case that disappears.
Someone has done a sterling job of removing from the internet many of the traces of Mr Barzilay's name in connection with TopGame. Search for him in connection with the company and you will find a bunch of nonsensical articles and fake charity websites published with his name on them, full of relevant keywords and intentional misspellings of his name, in what is undoubtedly an attempt at what is termed "reputation management." This is a process engaged by people who want to bury things they can't have deleted and that they don't want found under a deluge of other nonsense that fills many pages of the search engines. The end result is that the real stuff is only found many pages of results down where no-one bothers to look. Thankfully for us, hiding stuff from the internet is a bit of a Sisyphean task, as once you publish something on the internet it really is out there forever. So here you go: several pieces of proof that David Barzilay was formerly running TopGame.
That alone is fairly damning but, to be fair, it is not conclusive. As Pragmatic Play was supposed to be founded in 2015, and presumably Barzilay was not the legal owner at the time, one could by incredibly naive and suggest that the situation is entirely coincidental and that he bought Pragmatic Play later in an entirely unrelated transaction. On the other hand one could also theorise that this was a deliberate action to legally disassociate his name from the company in order to make it easier to gain approval in regulated markets, but that is purely conjecture on our part. Nevertheless, there is ample other evidence out there suggesting the two companies are inextricably linked.
There is Yair Hamami, a senior TopGame executive and associate of Barzilay, who apparently walked into a job at Pragmatic Play immediately after his employment for a TopGame related company ended. Here is a screenshot of his LinkedIn profile from September 2017 that suggests continuity between the two companies in 2014, a year before Pragmatic Play was supposedly founded.
The so called "Paradise Papers" leak of offshore company structures from 2017 contains a lot of information that is very relevant to the online casino industry. One thing we found that was particularly interesting is that, aside from showing Yair Hamami is a director and legal representative of Pragmatic Play, one of the listed shareholders of Pragmatic Play Ltd is a company named TG Solutions Ltd.
We have also found employees of Pragmatic Play that claim on social media that they have been in their current jobs since 2013. Let us remind you that Pragmatic Play was supposedly founded in 2015. We have found other similar examples.
In addition we have been told "off the record" by management at a couple of casinos that they have dealt with the same people at both companies for the entire time. Therefore our conclusion, which is supported by the evidence presented, is that it is the same management in charge, running a company with a different name and employing many of the same people. It is likely to be an attempt to bury their history of dubious conduct and legitimise themselves for regulated markets. And in a sad indictment of the due diligence processes of regulators such as the UKGC and Malta Gaming Authority, it seems to have worked just fine.
A major concern with Pragmatic Play are the many horrible white label casinos that run their software under the operating company names of Engage Entertainment Group or Celicorp Limited. Several of these casinos are out and out rogues that consistently delay or refuse to pay winners, and have been blacklisted on this site for several years. However in more recent times it appears that the company has signed distribution agreements with game aggregators that have seen their games appear on multi-provider casinos, some of which are well regarded. Even so, we strongly recommend that you do not play games released by Pragmatic Play, no matter which casino you find them at.
Pragmatic Play is a gaming software developer with massive question marks against its claim that it is unrelated to its poorly regarded predecessor TopGame. Its games feel uninspired and are notorious for being offered by some of the shadiest and least professionally run online casinos. While there are a few good places to play these games these days, particularly multi-platform casinos that aggregate games from many providers, caution is the better part of valour when it comes to this company. Our advice is to avoid their games altogether and especially steer clear of Engage Entertainment Group or Celicorp Limited casinos that run exclusively on their platform.