Online casinos are one of those amusements that we enjoy on the Internet and that many of us feel are totally common. However, few of us remember that they have evolved greatly since their beginnings around 30 years ago.
By 1996, it was estimated that there were only about 15 online casinos where you could gamble, as users still doubted the reputation of these casinos and preferred to use their physical versions. However, 20 years later this figure rose to around 2,800 legal establishments, and several licenses like the ones in Malta, Curaçao, Uk and more, growing more each day.
While the scoop remains the same, casinos have evolved both in operation and in the services they offer to customers. They are no longer a copy of a normal casino but have created their ways of gambling and their style of play more adapted to online users.
In this article, we will take a walk through the evolution of online casinos from their birth to their operation today, in order to determine how the industry may end up growing in the future.
What was the beginning of online casinos like?
While today’s online casino websites seem to have been taken from another world, they had a much simpler beginning. Around 1994 the first online casino establishment was created on what is now the Isle of Mann.
The establishment featured basic games and did not have a large amount of interesting online slots to play, however, it was a complete innovation for the time when internet gambling had not even been heard of. Sometime later Antigua and Barbuda passed a free trade act, prompting other organizations to open more online casinos within their territory.
These two events can be considered the beginning of the online trend, making players gradually join these new establishments.
The 1990s and the online gambling boom
Once the first establishment was created, a few others began to emerge to meet the growing demand. However, 1996 can be considered a crucial year.
With only 15 online gambling establishments in the market, the demand could not be fully met. However, growth had been slow because the Internet was in its infancy and not every household had a computer.
The curious thing is that by the end of this year and the beginning of 1997, the number of sites had multiplied about 15 times, with more than 200 new establishments available. The variety of competition on the market offered customers a choice and little by little different promotions began to emerge to attract users to these sites.
The introduction of live casino and how it helped to attract more users
Although the offerings in the market were gradually growing and the games were evolving exponentially, users were hungry for more and more new experiences. On the other hand, a large group of players stayed away from online gambling as they felt that the real fun of the casino was in the interaction and communication with the dealers.
With this in mind, the casino industry took a big leap forward by utilizing a technology that emerged around the year 2000: streaming. With this, it was possible to move on to creating a live experience that was typical of physical venues, but with the possibility of living it from home.
The idea was a resounding success. Many users barely had time in their daily lives to travel to a physical casino establishment, but by betting online in a live casino they could live the whole experience without having to travel away from home. As a result, online casinos sought to imitate more of the features of land-based casinos until they matched them in terms of the services offered.
The arrival of mobile gaming
With the increase in the number of consumers willing to gamble, there was a need to offer users a better way to enjoy the service that online establishments were providing. Many users had little free time during the day and could not access the platforms at all times.
With the emergence of cell phones and the improvement of mobile internet, casinos also adapted to be played from these devices. Although at the beginning they were basic compatibility software to be able to play in a browser, nowadays casinos create applications dedicated to this operation.
Online casinos today and the future ahead of them
Nowadays, casinos continue to evolve, bringing a great number of games to the different users registered on their platforms. Players in turn demand more technologies and are also guided by the trends that are presented worldwide.
From virtual reality slots to personal casino assistants for high rollers, online casinos have been able to create their own unique and distinctive way of operating.
Finally, although their future is uncertain, casinos are clearly on the right track. As long as gamblers’ interest is maintained and new experiences can be offered, they will be establishments worth visiting more than one time.