When online casino software was being developed in the early 1990s, the most commonly used operating system was Windows and most users worked on PCs. Therefore the online gambling software was developed to ensure compatibility with Windows. Also at that time it was essential that the player download the casino software onto his hard disk so that he could run the animations and graphical features required to operate the software. This gave rise to the download casino software which became the norm at all online casinos. The casinos using this software are referred to as download casinos.
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Later Flash software was developed. This software made it much more convenient to handle animations and other graphics and audio related functions. The software was smaller in size than the traditional software. Online casino applications could be run in the browser of the players' computer systems without having the need to download the software. Therefore online casinos began to offer casino games on the Flash software. Different names were given to this type of software. Since it was based on Flash some online casinos using the software began to call themselves Flash casinos. Since this software did not have to be downloaded, some online casinos referred to it as no download software. Since the process of downloading and installation was not required in the Flash software and players could start playing immediately, the software also came to be known as instant play software. These different names only reflect different attributes of the software; the basic product is the same.
Around this time Apple began to make inroads into the operating systems market, particularly in the United States. Many computer users began to use Mac computers from Apple. They found it more convenient for their normal day to day use. The problem was that the conventional download software of online casinos was not compatible with Mac. Therefore that software would not be downloaded on computers and laptops running on Mac. Hence Mac users had to forgo the pleasure of wagering on online casinos.
Fortunately Flash software was compatible with both Windows and Mac. Therefore online casinos offering this version of the software would cater to Mac users. Such casinos also came to be known as Mac casinos. Today most online casinos offer both products, which are the download software compatible with Windows and the Flash software compatible with Mac. Thus players can choose between the normal online casinos and Mac casinos. Flash software is not only compatible with Mac, but is also compatible with Linux. Linux operating system has a considerable share of the United States market and today Linux users can also wager at online casinos through Flash software.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Flash/Mac Casinos
Every development has advantages and disadvantages and this applies to Flash/Mac casinos as well. The major advantage of Flash/Mac casinos is that they are compatible with all operating systems including Windows, Mac and Linux and can thus cater to a much wider market than download casinos. The second significant advantage of Flash/Mac casinos is that they do not have to be downloaded onto the users' hard disks. Therefore players who have inadequate space in their hard disks can engage in online casino gambling through Flash/Mac casinos without having to upgrade their hardware. Download casino software may not appear that large at first but as new games are released and downloaded by the player the size of the download software increases very quickly and can considerably slow down the computer processing. This problem is avoided using Flash/Mac software.
Developers of online casinos using Flash/Mac software are conscious of the fact that it has to be played only on the browser of the user's system. Therefore there are more limitations on size of Flash/Mac software than on size of the download software. This is because the browser capacity is much smaller than the hard disk capacity. Therefore Flash/Mac casinos offer a limited number of games as compared to download casinos. Players who need to benefit from the advantages of Flash/Mac casinos have to compromise on game quantity. Having said this, it needs to be pointed out that the range of games offered in Flash/Mac casinos is usually more than adequate and players will not suffer because of the fewer games.