Evolution Of Online Casinos With Time And Technology
The casino industry has grown from an organised casino where the player would come together and bet to the huge casinos that show off their glam and follow processes. Now we are at the online casino where players just need to add money to their bank account and start playing on the go without even having to have hard cash. The journey of casinos has been overwhelming and noteworthy. Casinos have evolved with time and technology. Let’s have a look at the timeline of online casinos:
1994 – The beginning:
The year 1994 marks the beginning of online casino when the Antigua & Barbuda government passed the law of Free Trade and Processing Zone Act allowing the launch of online casinos. Even today, many of the casinos are licensed under this legislation.
Interestingly, in January 1994, a company, ‘Microgaming’ started developing software for the emerging industry and thus became the pioneer of the software in gaming and casino. The set up by this organisation was in England and employed operations like fund transfer and cash out and payout systems.
1995 – Emergence of cryptologic
The first eCashand gaming application was launched in 1995 by CryptoLogic. The software was developed with a view of providing an effective and efficient online financial and cash transactions.
1996 – A broader picture emerges:
In October 1996, the Internet casino took to the internet. The developed a mechanism of online payment under a protected environment. They used the Cryptologic software and ran it in a protected environment.
1997 – Installation of servers:
The first internet gaming server system was established in Antigua-Barbuda. This helps the country cope with its low GDP and boost its economy.
1998 – Managing through the issues:
In 1998, Jon Kyl, a representative of US Congress pitched in the “Internet Gambling Prohibition Act”. This act advocated the ban of online gambling in the USA. However, the gambling industry managed to generate tidy revenue and this attempt failed.
1999 – Mixed fortunes
The gambling industry was making revenue of over $1000 million. At the same time, Australia based industry licenced Lasseters and they launched an online casino platform in Australia.
Another development this year was the introduction of multiplayer gaming platform by Boss Media. Boss Media also introduced chat options to increase the interactivity among the players.
2001 – A wider approach:
Although many people condemned the online casino system, Nevada passed a legislature allowing the operations of online casinos from Nevada. In the other part of the world, the UK also decided to make online casino legal.
2002 – Amendment of acts:
In 2002, the Wire Act 1961 was amended to regulate the online casino and betting on the internet. The result of this act was that the online casino lost its rights to operate in the USA.
2003 – Initiatives to standardise:
eCommerce and Online Gambling Regulation and Assurance is shortly known as eCOGRA was launched in 2003. It was a non-profit organisation. Launching this body was an initiative to make online casinos reliable and dependable. The aim was to make sure that the members of the casino operators abided by the rules and regulations. This initiation marked the beginning of a more matured casino industry.
2004 – WTO supports Antigua-Barbuda:
Antigua-Barbuda got support from WTO by permitting online horse race betting and conventional casinos in the US despite the online gaming being unlawful.
2005 – Gaming on mobiles comes to the forefront:
With the influx of smartphones in the world, the Microgaming instantly teamed up with Spin3 and jumped into the mobile gaming wave and became the pioneers in mobile gaming. Further, in 2005, the online casino industry reached at the peak of its revenue counting $12 billion.
2006 – Signing of the UIGEA
In 2006, there were a lot of new introductions to the online gaming by Microgaming like the introduction of Live dealers and the launch of Mega Moolah- an online slot machine (which is still one of the most popular online slots).
While these developments were in progress, the downside for the online casino industry was the signing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act by President Bush in the US.
2007 – Expansion in different geographic areas:
After the UIGEA signing, America was ruled out of the target for online gambling, hence the focus of the online casino industry shifted to the European markets, the United Kingdom in particular. The UK took the online gambling well and instead of prohibiting online gambling, it created regulations and encourage it via television advertisements and other means.
2008 – Further expansion to South African countries
Following the UK’s lead, South African went ahead and legalised online gambling and online casino. The casino market quickly expanded in South Africa and started generating revenues there.
2009 – The legends began to set new records:
Online poker gained a quick momentum when Joe Cada, a well-known poker player, won a whopping $8.55 million in the main event of WSOP. The online casino industry remained unaffected even after the global recession of 2008 hit the world.
2009 became the year when a European player became the first gambler to have won millions in an online slot tournament hosted by Microgaming.
2010 – Introduction of different payment ways:
The market leaders, Microgaming started accepting money in digital ways other than the traditional wire transfer and debit cards. The result of this move reflected on the growth of the revenue. Statistics reports pointed out that the industry recorded a 12.5% growth and the average time spent by a player on playing online casino increased by 10%.
2011 – Other companies began competing
Until 2010, Microgaming was the only leading company and had the most market share. But in 2011, Progressive Jackpots – set up by Net Entertainment stepped in to grab the market share. The Mega fortune, one of the progressive jackpots became immensely popular.
Mega fortune set a record when a Norwegian player won €11.7 million!
2012 – Going global and local together:
With the increasing popularity of online betting and casino, the industry started catering to a diverse population. In order to cater to the increasing demand from across the world, thousands of new casinos in multiple languages and multiple locations were set up, money was accepted in more type of currencies, global customer service was set up and casinos which support multiple languages and locations.
The high demand for the casinos leads to a potential local market as well. The casinos targeted one country and localised the look and feel, the language, and the culture of the casino. For example, All Slots casino for Italy, Tropezia Palace for Sweden, and Grand Reef casino for Australia.
2013 – Social media boosting casino:
The advent of Social Media is adding to the growth of the online casino market. Many online casinos are leveraging the social media platforms to engage the players with new offers, new game launch and much more.
2014 – The Bitcoin era
The year 2014 saw a different currency altogether. The Bitcoin. No sooner than the cryptocurrency currency crept in that the casino industry started accepting it. Soon the whole industry started dealing in Bitcoins; that is accepting it and payout in the same currency.
2015 – World Record Jackpot
The popular Mega Moolah, the online slot game, created another history and started trending when a 26-year-old man named Jon Heywood won a massive jackpot of €17.9 Million. This is the record-breaking win the history of the online slot.
2016 – US legalizes live dealers
In 2016, one of the biggest markets accepted the online casino after many years. As soon as live casino became legal in the USA, mobile gaming made its way and quickly got accepted in the country.
2017-2019 – Virtual reality and the expansion of the Bitcoin:
In 2017-2019 several casinos have started to work on virtual reality and embedding its features in the online casino to give the best user experience to the players. Through Virtual Reality, the casinos are also delivering a 360-degree gaming experience. Bitcoin remains to be a valid currency and many casinos accept bitcoin as a payment method.
The journey of Online casinos has been overwhelming and it is ought to go hand in hand with the recent trends and technological innovations.