The online casino industry is celebrating its 24th birthday this year. From its first real money online wager in 1996, it is now a multi-billion-dollar industry.
The first brick-and-mortar casino goes back way further though, nearly four centuries in fact, to Venice, Italy, in 1638. Its popularity spread and soon casinos popped up in the Netherlands, France and Germany, among other countries across the world.
Birth of Vegas
America was a bit slower to catch on. Not until gambling was legalised in 1931 did Las Vegas get its first land casino. In less than 100 years the industry has boomed in the United States. And since the turn of the millennium, the online casino industry has also boomed, worldwide.
Fast and stable internet connections for a low fee were the some of the first factors that made online casinos popular, instead of players making an effort to dress up and travel to their nearest brick-and-mortar equivalent.
The ability to carry out financial transactions online safely has also played a big role in the growth of online casinos. Little more than a decade ago there was little trust from people in paying over the internet, but the growth of online banking and the likes of Paypal, as well as people regularly using the likes of eBay, Amazon and online supermarkets has won over the trust of many.
Secure Internet Growth
From 15 online casinos available in 1996, there were more than 700 by 1998. Today, there are 1000s around the world. Not only did these offer Texas Hold’em, blackjack and slot machines, but everything you would expect to find at a land-based casino, such as keno, roulette and even a chance to play bingo online on big casino website or a dedicated bingo site like Winkbingo.
By 2001 there were already more than 8 million casino played around the world as the industry continued to grow. This was way before broadband even existed. That say year, the likes of Gibraltar and the Isle of Man began issuing iGaming licenses.
By 2008, the industry was believed to be worth a staggering $21 billion. Then came smartphones and tablet devices. As the years go by the number of people that own at least one of these devices or even both, have more access to online casinos than ever. This means they were no longer tied down to a PC, but rather they had access to play anywhere provided they had a stable WiFi connection, as is standard just about everywhere these days.
All Bets on Mobile
To this day online casinos are huge in Europe but the United States remains somewhat reluctant. In fact, the majority of online casinos are actually licensed in the United Kingdom and Canada as a result.
As well as the easy access and availability, the wide range of games and promotions have been another huge factor in the substantial growth of this market. You can find more games and varieties of games at an online casino than just about any land-based casino in the world. You’re sure to find games online that you can’t find in any casino in the world too.
Trying to create that real-life atmosphere has been important to the developers too. These days there are real-time chats with real dealers at real casinos to make it as realistic experience as you can possibly imagine. Anyone who has been to a casino but not yet played online would be blown away by the experience.In the year 2020, with many people’s daily lives including regular checks on Facebook from their mobile phones, they can also play online casino games with their friends from their app. No longer do you need to arrange a specific time on a specific date to meet up with your friends and travel into town. Where the online casino experience will expand into next, only time will tell…