Online gambling has come a long way over the last three decades, the industry has grown and developed tremendously as technology has evolved and demand for online gaming betting has risen. The global online gambling market is now worth an estimated $57 billion US dollars and is predicted to grow to almost $98 billion dollars by the year 2025.
Some of the most popular types of online gambling include sports betting and playing online casino games. The top internet casino games are poker, slots, roulette and baccarat, these games can easily be played from computers, smartphones and tablet devices.
Let’s take a look at how the online gambling industry has developed since its inception and what the future may hold for internet betting and casino websites:
The beginnings of the online casino industry
When the World Wide Web became widely available in the early 1990s, it was not long before online casinos were put into development. In 1994 the government of Antigua and Barbuda were one of the first to bring in online gambling legislation when they implemented the Free Trade & Processing act, which enabled them to grant licenses to companies that want to start online casinos.
Soon after that the first online casinos reached the market with one of the earliest being The Gaming Club, powered by Microgaming software. A year later, a company named Cryptologic, who enabled real money transactions over the web, launched the first real money internet based casino site InterCasino.
Although the first few online casinos were very basic in comparison to the sites we are used to today, people quickly caught on to how convenient and easy playing casino games from the comfort of their own home could be. Players no longer had to visit land based venues and could play alone on the internet at a time that suited them.
As demand grew for online casinos, so did competition…
Online casinos began to provide excellent entertainment for internet users across the world and as the technology and software improved, so did the choice and quality of games. One piece of software that has been invaluable to this industry is Random Number Generators (RNGs), which makes it impossible for there to be any unfair advantage or disadvantage in games like slots.
There are now hundreds of high quality online casino sites such as 888 casino for players to enjoy, and there are games operators and casino software developers all over the world. However, as online gambling became a more lucrative market, the amount of new sites popping up has created a lot of competition and created a challenge for online casinos in terms of new user acquisition and brand loyalty.
In order to maintain a competitive edge, most sites now offer some type of bonus or welcome offer in order to entice customers. For instance, a new user may receive an additional deposit if they sign up and add in their own money into an online casino account, they can use this added deposit to play more games and withdraw their winnings once they have met the wagering requirements. Another popular type of offer is a no deposit bonus, which gives new players the chance to try out a website’s games before they commit to wagering their own money.
While the online gambling industry may have started out on desktop computers, many of today’s players prefer to play games from their smartphones, either on apps or in their web browser. These apps and mobile sites have been optimised to offer the same great games and features that are available on larger screens.
So, what are some of the most recent innovations within the online gambling industry?
AR and VR casino technology
In the last few years Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality has been adopted by all areas of the gaming industry and consumers have soon a real interest in the experiences that these technologies provide. In the online gambling industry, lack of personal interaction has long been a key challenge and AR and VR have provided opportunities to help with this.
Virtual reality casinos are still in their early stages of development. They give players the opportunity to enter a virtual casino and interact with other players as if it was real-life using a special headset.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has plenty of applications in the online gambling world. Many sites have chatbots that are powered by AI, these reduce the need for such large customer support teams without compromising on quality customer service.
It is also used for data collection and analysis that enables casinos to run better targeted promotions and create more personalized experiences for players.
These are just a couple of examples of recent innovations in the sector, these technologies have plenty of other applications and casino operators are continually trying out new ways of utilizing them to improve customers’ experiences.