This year, online gambling is expected to generate $50.65 billion dollars and jump to $56.05 billion in 2018. That’s a lot of money. Just for comparison's sake, Disney generated $52.47 billion last year.
History of Major Gambling Sites
There are many gambling sites on the internet today. Some of these have been around since the very early days of online gambling and have established themselves as well-known names. Others have entered the market later on, but still built strong reputations. Over time there have also been a number of sites that have not gone the distance, and for one reason or another have ended up closing down. Throughout the history of online gambling, there have been a few sites in particular that have made a big impact on the industry. The stories behind how these sites have evolved over time can be quite fascinating.
History of Online Gambling Technology
Many gambling sites use third-party technology providers for some or all of their products. Some of these providers supply their software to many of the biggest operators, which is why you will often notice similarities at different sites. The innovation and creativity of these companies has been instrumental in the way online gambling has developed.
History of Online Casinos
In the same year that Antigua and Barbuda passed its Free Trade and Processing act, 1994, a company called Microgaming was formed. This company claims to have been the very first to provide a fully functional real-money online casino, The Gaming Club. Other companies have made similar claims, and it is difficult to verify exactly who did come first.
InterCasino, owned by the company CryptoLogic, was certainly one of the early online casinos, and it is still in existence today. Regardless of exactly who came first, Microgaming and CryptoLogic were certainly notable companies in the early days of online casinos. They both played key roles in the development of the technology required to power the games and the financial systems needed to process customer transactions.
Those familiar with the online casinos today would probably be disappointed with what was on offer back in the 90s. The range of available games was fairly limited, and the software was nowhere near as functional as modern online casinos. Considering it was new technology, though, it was still impressive stuff. As more and more companies started to get involved, the number of casino sites grew, and over time they developed to become far more advanced.
The market became very competitive very quickly, with many operators trying to become the biggest and best. Big bonuses for new customers became commonplace, and many casinos introduced loyalty schemes for their regular customers. The overall standard of the software available was almost constantly improving, and additional features were frequently being added.
Progressive jackpots, themed slots, and multiplayer games were just a few of the things that really helped online casinos to grow in popularity. However, there were some people that were reluctant to play, fearing that the online games could be manipulated in some way and would not give fair results.
Live casino games are fairly commonplace online now, but they were a major development when they first appeared. Players could actually watch live video streams of dealers and croupiers in real time, and this proved to be incredibly popular. Today, many players much prefer to play the live games, rather than the graphic-based ones.
A more recent development is the addition of mobile compatible games at many sites, meaning you can play your favorite games from your smartphone or tablet. Again, this is something that has proved to be very popular and is a good example of how online casinos are continuing to advance. There is little doubt that we will see even more progress over the coming years.