Gambling has been around for hundreds or even thousands of years around the globe. From finding ancient drawings on tiles in China, to the oldest known dice being found in ruins in Egypt and even finding gambling scenes on Ancient Greek and Roman pottery, playing games of chance is nothing new.

Yet we’ve come along a long way since the days of betting on horse and javelin events. While casinos around the world are hugely popular and bring in an average global revenue of $13.45 billion each year, it’s the digital age which has really catapulted this industry to success.

Let’s take a look at where it all began and how the industry has evolved to what it is today.

The age of land based casinos

It wasn’t until the 1960’s that land-based gambling venues were introduced to the UK. Before this, gambling was an activity reserved for the elite where wealthy people would wager large amounts of money on organised events, like horse racing.

However, the introduction of new gambling laws in the 60’s meant that casino venues and high street betting stores were popping up all over the country. During this time, regular people began to visit land-based casinos to play games like roulette, poker and blackjack. Many casinos were glamorous venues but were the gender divide of the 60’s meant that many customers were male.

The introduction of the Betting and Gambling Act of 2005 brought about tougher laws to UK venues, meaning that many smaller high street venues went out of business. However, it also brought about the age of conglomerate casinos and bingo halls, adding further revenue to an already successful industry.

But things changed.

The disruption of digitalization

Technological developments in the early 2000’s meant that households in economically developed countries like the UK and the US began to be able to afford desktop PC’s; something that previously would have only existed in a lab or a large business.

With this came the introduction of casino games that could be played on home PC monitors. This not only meant that people no longer had to leave their house for a game of poker or blackjack, but it also meant a wider demographic of people could now access these traditional casino games. Such PC games included Caesars Palace (2000), Casino Typhoon (2001) and Hoyle Casino Empire (2002).

As different types of technology became available, casino games have expanded to now encompass handheld games such as Golden Nugget Casino (2005) on Nintendo DS.

Not only was it more convenient for people to play casino games, but these PC games offered people the opportunity to learn how to play the likes of poker and blackjack. People who may not have had the confidence to enter a casino before were now able to learn the different poker hands through their home PC.

There was just one problem, you couldn’t win real money from these games.

Physical VS digital casinos

Fast forward to today and the market has never been more saturated with online casinos than it is now. With many offshore casinos operating with global jurisdiction through loopholes in various local country laws, people all across the world are able to access casino games online.

Land based casinos have a lot to offer, including a lively atmosphere, bars serving great cocktails and the chance to dig out your fancy clothes and strut around the glamorous casinos that exist in popular cities across the world. However, today’s digital offerings are taking over.

Since the 1960’s, land-based casinos across the UK have reduced to just a fraction of what they used to be. This is because online casinos can be much more agile to the ever-shifting market’s needs.

The renewal of classic casino games

While most of the traditional casino games can now be found online, they’re much more adapted to make way for today’s modern consumers. Statistics show that online gamers are now much less inclined to play casino games on their desktop devices and much more likely to play on handhelds.

This means the market has had to adapt, with many online casino providers now providing integrated apps to make playing poker, roulette and slots that much easier on the go. Whether players are commuting to work, or just don’t fancy having to move from their sofa, there’s now a huge number of games to play that physical casinos just couldn’t offer.

The evolution of the wider gambling industry

Not only have casinos adapted and created online offerings, other gambling niches like sports betting and bingo have also made the transition to online. Today’s consumers can now bet on live events as they unfold on their TV screen, all while being able to access insights and AI driven statistics that increase the likelihood of winning the bet. In this sense, you could argue that traditional betters required more skill to be successful in the past.

Is high street betting a thing of the past?

While it used to be built into many people’s daily routines to pick up a paper and a scratch card, today, consumers are much more likely to participate in things like the national lottery, scratch cards and placing sports bets online.

While this has meant a reduction in the number of high street betting stores due to a loss in profits, it has also meant the online sector has continued to grow at an alarming rate. This has meant that gambling companies have needed to adapt fast or sink with their dying cause.

What are the benefits of playing gambling games online?

Overall, playing casino games online has meant that the industry has been able to become more responsive to consumer needs, while building up the time and investments required to expand their online offerings.

Today’s online casino gamers can expect Bitcoin technology, live dealers and even VR enabled games. There is so much in the pipeline for this industry, keep your eyes peeled for what’s to come next.

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