How often do you play casino games? Do you wager real money to play for fun online? Walking into a casino and walking out as a millionaire winning the jackpot is something, we all dream of. But have you ever wondered how from the tables of the Las Vegas to the screens of your smart phones, online gambling was made possible?
Today, online gaming is a massive industry that is growing at an unprecedented rate. According to a report by Statista, “In 2015, the online gaming market had a volume of $37.91 billion U.S. dollars, this figure was forecasted to increase to $59.79 billion U.S. dollars in 2020.”
The online gambling industry today where it stands is made possible by over 25 years of evolution.
The History of Online Gambling
It all started in 1994 with the launch of first online casino. In January 1994, Microgaming, the first online gambling software provider is founded that marks the beginning of a billion dollar industry. With the software and security now developed, the first online casino was launched in June 1994, the InterCasino. In 1996, InterCasino for the first time accepts real money wager online and sets the path for a billion dollars industry.
Soon from just 15 online gambling websites in 1996, by the end of 1997, the number goes up to 200. The revenues from online gambling boomed next year. According to a report by Frost & Sullivan, the online gambling revenues had exceeded $830 million in 1998. By 2000, the online gambling solutions provider Cryptologic reaches the NASDAQ that indicates the industry’s growing size and legitimacy.
In 2001, a $414,119 gigantic progressive jackpot is won at The Sands of the Caribbean online casino. This is the largest win to date and it got more players interested in online gambling as they realized it’s a stroke of luck to win big. By 2006, as the number gamblers rise to tens of millions around the world, to cater to their demands, over 2300 started operating.
With sports betting already established in Europe, but during the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship, there were record online sports betting action that was further fueled by the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Exploding popularity of Apple devices such as the iPhone and the iPad by 2011 is capitalized by the online gambling industry who offer more options for players in terms of mobile gaming.
The surge of bitcoins as the currency of the internet makes way for the crypto to enter gambling. In 2014 Vera & John become the first online casino to start accepting bitcoin deposits. Furthermore, eSports although being into existence for years saw tremendous and rapid growth in popularity in 2016.
Evolution of Online Gambling Infograph
What Future Holds
According to MarketWatch the Online gambling market is predicted to reach USD 87.75 billion by 2024. This growth will be the fastest propelled by technologies such as Artificial intelligence, Chabot, and machine learning. Another development is expected to be increase in number of female casino players in the coming years.