iGaming has seen some great leaps forward due to the rapid development of new technologies in recent decades. Here are some of the biggest moments that turned the world of online betting on its head.
A Worldwide Phenomenon
Right now, the iGaming industry has software developers, online gaming platforms, sportsbooks, and players across every corner of the globe. Payment methods that are both international and country-specific (such as Interac or POLi) from traditional credit cards to the latest cryptocurrency, and mobile support, have made online betting more accessible than ever. Sometimes these can also be geographically limited, but one that accepts players from all major territories is Spin gaming club, where players can enjoy hundreds of slots and newcomers benefit from a generous welcome promotion.
But as you know very well, Rome was not built a day. There were several key milestones that led from real-world casinos to the highly competitive online betting landscape of today.
The Birth of Online Casinos and Expansion
Betting has been around for as long as civilization, and even the relatively modern games of blackjack and roulette are well over a century old (card games date back to the Renaissance when the French got very creative with betting). In terms of online betting, perhaps the first key moment was in 1994 when Microgaming (which is still a giant among big software studios) developed the first online casino software.
The potential was clear even as the internet was moving into the popular mainstream, and soon betting organizations new and old were getting in on the act. Growth flowed naturally as the internet itself and online activity generally rose substantially through the 1990s and early 2000s (in much the same way online shopping soared during this era).
The Mobile Gaming Revolution
A second key milestone saw the dovetailing of the smartphone revolution with online gaming. Mobile phones, once they passed the Yuppie-era bricks that were often derided by the general public, went from strength to strength, moving from taking and making calls to the nascent technology of texting. But the critical moment for wagering was when the smartphone was born.
No longer would a player need a desktop or even laptop to game. Instead, making money games were accessible by smartphone as well as laptop and desktop. Effectively, players had a whole system in their pocket and given how commonplace smartphone ownership is (circa 80% in most developed Western nations) the player base this offered online was huge.
In more recent years, the playing style have advanced from having separate mobile/desktop accounts to a single, unified approach with accounts accessible either way. And by tablets, which present yet another way to play online games conveniently, from anywhere.
Live Dealer Games
However, there was a little something lacking, and that was atmosphere. Online games were undoubtedly more convenient for players but the immersive feel of playing in a real-world establishment was something of a deficit. But not for long. Live dealer games took advantage of improved streaming capabilities to put together the accessibility of online iGaming with the atmosphere of a real-world casino.
Classic games like roulette, baccarat were the mainstay of such live tables, but new games, primarily gameshow-type offerings like Deal Or No Deal, added a new dimension to live play. In 2006, Evolution Gaming, the foremost player in the live scene today, was established and helped to drive forward this popular new online gaming category.
A recent highlight of live gaming was during the pandemic lockdowns followed by the outbreak of COVID-19. With real-world gaming houses hit very hard indeed, online live tables and other games proved very popular with the public, who could access betting without putting their health at risk.
Bitcoin, VR, and the Future
Online 3d games have always been keen to embrace new technology, both to gain an edge on the competition and to appeal to the broadest possible player base. This has been the case recently with Bitcoin (and other forms of cryptocurrency) which was relatively uncommon as a banking option until now. While Bitcoin is clearly the king of the cryptocurrencies others (including Litecoin and Dogecoin) are also being accepted at more and more betting sites.
VR could be the next step in iGaming. It’s already taken a big step forward in the world of video games, and there is a small smattering of online slots that take advantage of the tech already. Once it improves, there’s an obvious fit for it in casinos with live tables. Smartwatches are in a similar position, with software firms working hard to develop new games for this wearable tech.
The iGaming industry has been swift to take on board new tech, from the internet itself through to smartphones, Bitcoin, live dealer games, and is even now delving into VR.