The global economy has experienced many booms and recessions, but the casino market has been resilient to these swings. The period between 1930 and 1980 was the golden age of live gaming. But the worldwide modern age gaming yield has risen again, from $50 billion in 2001 to $130 billion in 2019, according to Statista. Despite the 2 significant dips in 2009 and 2015, the overall development of the gambling market has been consistent. Statista shows that after sports betting, the most popular area is casino gambling, which has increased to 26% over the past decade, followed by lotteries expected to reach 17% in 2021. The most significant market reduction was in Poker, which decreased from 19% in 2007 to a new low of 7% in 2020 and 2021.
The casino market is booming, and it’s being shaped to integrate the changes in modern technology and social trends. And the classic side of the casino market is engaging players to experience real-life and online slots games and table games.
Over the past two decades, hundreds of online gambling platforms have been bringing promotions, bonuses, and high-tech games to the online gaming ecosystem. The online casino market accounts for a significant amount of the worldwide gaming sector. Statista shows that in 2024 the online gaming industry will double from $ 45.8 billion in 2017 to a high of $94.4 billion in 2024. Read this comprehensive brief on the history of gambling, the development of the worldwide gambling industry and the expected shifts in the market.
History of Gambling: China, Greece, and Rome
Placing bets is an ancient art. The history of gambling dates to evidence from 40,000 BC in the form of dice-like items. Concrete proof comes from Ancient China when people used tiles for basic games of chance. The “Book of Songs” refers to wood drawings, which suggests the tiles were components of lottery games. Dice games existed in Ancient Egypt and evidence was found in a tomb dating to 3000 BC. Keno slips dating back to 200BC have been found in China-funded state infrastructure projects such as the Great Wall of China. Since then, lotteries contributed to funding civic projects including the building of the Yale and Harvard Universities.
In 500 BC, Sophocles, the Greek poet, stated that a mythological hero during the fall of Troy invented dice. Early traditions such as throwing 2 sixes were called the “Throw of Aphrodite.” The game was unbeatable. After 0 BC, the Romans became famous for their superstitions and religious rituals with a fondness for different games of chance. They considered odd outcomes as warning signs of danger. But the even outcomes were signs of fortune and luck.
Playing It Forward: Cards, Hazards, Craps
Starting with the 6th century AD, the Koreans used silk and paper cards called “fighting arrows” in games, which resembled Blackjack or Poker. During the 14th century, the Royal Jacks, Queens, and Kings suit appeared, which depicted royalty and deities. Between the 16th and 19th centuries lottery games, casinos and horse racing emerged. Lotteries were a form of unloading unsold merchandise in Venice and Genoa. Gambling moved into America during the 17th and 18th centuries but opinions were split as puritan colonies considered gambling to be degrading. During the 19th century, grand casino venues and horse racetracks were built.
In New Orleans, craps became famous. It was the basic European version of Hazard. The first slot machine was built in San Francisco in the late 1800s. And the first electromechanical machine appeared in 1963 followed by the first video slot in 1976. Sin City emerged in 1941 when Tommy Hull built the El Rancho Vegas casino in the middle of the Nevada desert. Las Vegas kept growing throughout the 1950s with heavy investments in infrastructure and gaming venues.
Online Wagering Emerges
The Free Trade and Processing Act of 1994 was the first act to regulate online wagering. Antigua and Barbuda granted the first online casino licenses to operators, allowing them to work from their territory. In 1994, the first online lottery venue was available to the public via the Liechtenstein International Lottery. Also, The Gaming Club was the first online casino to go live with a Viper download gaming platform. Still operating today in instant-play, The Gaming Club was powered with Microgaming’s gaming software. CryptoLogic enabled the first real-money transactions online in the casino sector. CryptoLogic supported InterCasino to become the first online gaming platform to allow players to place real money bets.
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission formed in 1996 and was the legal authority to assign online casino licenses. The body was formed to ensure complete fairness and transparency in the online gaming world.
The first online sportsbook, the Austrian-based Intertops platform, launched in 1996 and the first bet was placed on January 17th 1996, as highlighted by AskGamblers. Mr Honkavaara wagered $50 on Tottenham Hotspur’s win over Hereford United and won the bet.
The Rise of Online Wagering
In 1998, Microgaming launched CashSplash, which was the first online progressive jackpot slot. AskGamblers shows that the slot, which has changed over time into 2 different versions, is still as famous as ever. The game features 3 or 5 reels, includes classic symbols such as cherries, Lucky 7s, and bars, and offers 1 to 15 winning paylines, depending on the version of the slot. A progressive jackpot win gets won one every two days.
January 1st, 1998 was when the first online poker hand was dealt on Planet Poker. The platform features its own proprietary software. In the US, online wagering wasn’t favoured. The US Senate proposed the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act in 1999 to ban online wagering. But the House never approved the bill. In 2006, an updated variant of the bill was attached to the SAFE Port Act and became the law in force. In 1999, multiplayer online games appeared, allowing customers to participate in online tournaments. Group chats also emerged.
The State of Modern Online Wagering
In 2002, Captain Cooks online casino awarded the first $1 million online jackpot on a progressive slot. One year later, eCOGRA (eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) was founded to test operators worldwide and ensure increased fairness and security levels. It was a critical moment for the online gaming sector as the eCOGRA seal is the most prestigious and respected certification for online casinos.
Playtech released the first live dealer online platform powered by CWC Gaming for live streams. The next year, Microgaming launched the first mobile gambling platform. In 2005, the UK designed the Gambling Act 2005, which regulated all gambling operations in England, Scotland, and Wales. In the US, online gambling was banned in 2006 via the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which prohibited online casinos from functioning on US territory.
AskGamblers was incorporated in 2006 to support transparency and fairness across the online gambling industry. It’s an independent service, which offers gamers a trusted online platform for an exciting and safe wagering experience. The site offers precise data and updated information on global online casinos. The proprietary Casino Complaint Service (AGCCS) helps players resolve disputes with an online casino in an efficient and transparent manner
Here Come Crypto, VR and AR
Gambling with cryptocurrency started in 2014 when Vera & John online casino accepted the first crypto transfer. The platform automatically converted the crypto funds into Fiat (EUR). The online casino ensured that the funds were transferred into the gamers’ accounts held with the website. But you could only withdraw BTC (Bitcoin) deposits in BTC.
The online gaming sector is developing at an accelerated rate thanks to new tech such as hybrid games, AR (augmented reality), and VR (virtual reality). Online operators are using tech innovations to succeed in an extremely competitive market. Hybrid table games attract players and increase engagement. They’re a combo of offline and online casino games where the fast-paced gameplay of slots is mixed with a live dealer online.
Today’s gamers expect immersive and super engaging gaming sessions. So, online casinos are gradually incorporating skill-based and hybrid titles into their offerings. VR and AR technologies enhance experiences and drive demand for top-quality titles. VR headsets continue to advance the online gaming world and uncover leaps ahead. Also, blockchain technology is enhancing the key elements of the industry including freedom, fairness, and trust.
Wrapping It Up
Gambling is becoming ubiquitous. It’s available offline and online. You can wager whenever and from wherever you are using a desktop, laptop, or mobile device. Although the gambling world is unpredictable, it’ll continue a strong ascending trend. The rise of AR, VR, and 3D technologies will blur the lines between offline and online gambling.
At the Casino Room, we’re always updating our software capabilities and adopting the newest innovations in terms of games and tech. Our portfolio includes exceptional video slot and table games titles including the latest software. Check out our upcoming early release of Live Craps by Evolution Gaming on October 29th, 2020. It’s the most up to date version of the “Oldie but Goldie” craps game. What’s next for the gaming industry? All we know is the best is yet to come!