A Brief History of Online Casinos and Betting
Despite the online betting, gaming and casino industry only being around for some 25 years, the revenues generated by this global business is in excess of almost $50 billion of revenue as at the end of 2019.
The majority of this revenue is generated outside of the United States although as individual states now have the authority to pass their own laws by federal mandate, expect revenues to grow year on year in the United States.
The First Online Casino
The first online gaming site was an online lottery in Switzerland back in 1995, but within a year of the first site opening, there were more than 200 sites which had opened for business and operating around the world.
Typically, these online casinos offered a range of card games such as poker and blackjack, as well as slot machines and roulette. However, given the technology was in its infancy and graphics were limited to bandwidth – remember dial up connections – the sites were fairly basic. What they did offer however, was the excitement of playing casino games without having to pay expensive membership fees one might have to pay in a physical casino.
As technology developed rapidly in the period between 1995 and 2010, with faster processors and significant leaps in memory capability, the graphics improved dramatically and the realism of casino games online improved significantly. Faster Internet connections and the increasing widespread use of laptops meant that people could play casino games wherever they were able to make a WiFi connection.
Mobile casino comes of age
Around 2003, as laptop sales were burgeoning with the introduction of more and more easily accessible WiFi hotspots, companies such as NetBet Nigeria began their online operations.
While laptops gave people mobility to connect to the web, true mobility came with the introduction of the first Apple iPhone back in 2007. As increasing numbers of consumers bought in to the ‘computer in a pocket’ market, the online casino industry really began to explode in to the public’s consciousness.
The nascent online betting and casino industry really started gathering momentum at this time, and as more money flowed in to the industry, the longer established companies began sponsoring sports brands in the UK, the US and other countries where sports had wide TV coverage.
As sales of the IPhone and, in rapid succession Smartphones from other manufactures such as Samsung and Motorola as examples increased exponentially, this meant online casino brands could develop apps that would make online casino games more accessible to casual players as well as regular players.
As the market has matured and casino sites have proliferated across the globe, players can now search out the best odds, find where there are risk free bets and deposit matching offers via independent websites such as Oddschecker. Customers of online gaming and casino sites now have a plethora of choice and opportunity which, back in 1995 would have been unthinkable.
Where the market goes and how it develops in the future is anyone’s guess; for now, the increasing popularity of playing online casino and sport betting seems to show no sign of slowing.