Chartwell is one of the fastest up-and-coming online casino software platforms today. Not to say that Chartwell is a young company either, for this Calgary, Canada-based outfit was founded back in 1998. In other words, they've been around since the early days of online gambling. The road to Chartwell's success and popularity, has been different than it's top-tier competitors like Microgaming and Playtech, who obtained their initial success dominating the U.S. market.
Chartwell, however, took a more reserved approach to navigating the unpredictable gaming waters in the States, and instead, focused its energies on slowly building a roster of high profile online casino licensees catering to the European iGaming market. This growing list now includes the likes of Victor Chandler, bwin, BetFair, Coral Casino and Stan James - some of the best branded names in the European online gambling industry today. In fact, Chartwell powers online casino games for ExtraBet - the first betting site to receive a regulatory license from the UK Gambling Commission.
Being one of nineteen eCOGRA certified software platforms, Chartwell holds up the highest standards of transparency and responsible gaming conduct. In fact, along with Microgaming and Boss Media (GTECH G2), Chartwell is one of just a handful of eCOGRA certified software platforms with an emphasis on casino wagering. eCOGRA, which stands for eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation Assurance, upholds the highest standards in operator transparency, providing certifications to software platforms and operators after completing a thorough, ongoing compliance inspection that includes software functionality, IT security, internal management controls, network structure integrity and the fairness of games.
Offering licensees a stand-alone product or providing all centralized support and management through a white label agreement, Chartwell certainly takes an active role with all of their clients. From a player's perspective, this is a very good thing. And since Chartwell only does business in strictly regulated markets, players will always have a communication channel readily available if a dispute is to arise.
As mentioned, the Chartwell software platform has long been licensed as a downloadable suite of casino games. The 2010 International Casino Exhibit in London, however, marked the release of Chartwell's newest software platform, which seemingly boasted twice as many features than before. Chartwell's multiplayer games seemed to be receiving the most attention, which currently include Blackjack and Baccarat, with Caribbean Stud Poker and Roulette in the works (as of October 2010). These games will allow up to five players using the same currency to share a table, thereby recreating some of the camaraderie experienced at a brick 'n mortar casino.
In fact, Chartwell's primary focus has been just that - providing players the feeling of gambling in a real brick 'n mortar casino. Currently, Chartwell is putting great stock in the growing popularity of live dealer online casino gaming. Having teamed with Entertasia, Chartwell has developed a live dealer casino that is exclusively licensed to to Ho Gaming for distribution in the European market. While Chartwell's RNG casino platform is still their most popular product, Chartwell's CEO, Dan Phillips has made it clear that Chartwell believes the future of internet gambling is the live dealer online casino experience. The company's liquidated player communities for bingo and poker - BingoNexus and PokerNexus - were both scratched so as to put more resources into their core casino offering.
Chartwell has also made a strong stake at game branding, having successfully acquired licensing rights with Paramount Pictures to turn the blockbuster movies, Sleepy Hollow and the Italian Heist (1969), into slot machines. Branding is a major component of the most successful online slots available today, and Chartwell has reported more titles are in development.
Chartwell games can be played via Flash, download, and more recently, on a mobile compatible platform. All modes offer play-for-fun and play-for-real wagering, also providing access to Chartwell's linked progressive jackpot network. Compatible with a diverse range of mobile phones, including smart phones, games on the mobile platform (at the time of press) include single and multi-hand Blackjack, Baccarat, European Roulette, Casino War, Jacks or Better video poker, Hi/Lo (lottery style arcade) and four bonus slots.