Online casino games and gambling have come a long way since the early days. Before the internet, you had to go to a real-world casino or bookmaker to place your wagers. Once the web started catching on in the early 90s, things changed fast. However, in the early days, you’d be lucky to find a few pixelated card games. If there were a few slot games in the mix, that was a top online casino back then.
These days, there’s a whole world of games that were unimaginable back in the 90s. Sports betting has changed with technological developments, too. How so? Read on to discover how technology has changed gambling in the past few decades.
The biggest change to the casino and gambling industries was the internet itself. The internet has revolutionized every industry and forced incumbents to adapt or die. The casino gaming and gambling industries were one of the first to embrace the web.
With the rise of the internet, large monopolies like casinos in Vegas and Macau had competitors they didn’t see coming. Money flowed all over the world to sites like Bodog casino and still does to this day.
Some countries like the USA tried to stop online gambling, but these efforts proved largely futile. The web has utterly transformed the gambling industry, and there’s no turning back.
Video streaming had to wait until internet connections were fast enough to have its moment in the sun. That’s well and truly underway. Applications like Skype, Zoom and Facetime allow real-time streaming all over the globe. Video streaming technology has also transformed casino gaming and sports betting.
Live dealer gaming has become one of the biggest trends in online gambling in the last decade. It wouldn’t be possible without video streaming. Players have the opportunity to play card and table games with real dealers. Several unique and interesting variants like Lightning Roulette have changed classic games by adding large multipliers and new features. New multi-billion dollar companies like Evolution have sprung up in the live gaming space. Casinos that don’t offer real dealer games are considered out of date today.
This technology has also changed sports betting. Some of the top sites now allow punters to watch the games via video stream. There are even betting sites that have their commentators and match analysts.
Real-Time Data Feeds
With the increase in internet connection speeds came the ability to transmit unthinkable amounts of data quickly. This has changed sports betting more than any other technology so far.
Live sports betting is a huge deal right now. It’s only possible because of accurate real-time data feeds. Most betting sites allow you to bet on the outcomes of games. In-play betting, however, allows you to capitalize on fleeting opportunities within games.
Think Tiger Woods will make the winning putt, or Italy will score a penalty? You can bet on that thanks to live and in-play sports betting. You can make lots of interesting prop bets on in-game outcomes. Some operators offer hundreds of live betting markets on popular sports like soccer.
One of the biggest waves of change in internet history is the mobile wave. Naturally, it impacted gambling, too. We all used to connect via desktop computers, but then the iPhone came along and changed everything.
Soon, competitors started creating other nifty mobiles. The way we connect to the web changed rapidly as a result. Gambling operators had to once again adapt and release user-friendly mobile apps.
Today, most players connect to gambling sites on their mobile devices. Will something come along to disrupt this trend? Virtual reality could make mobiles obsolete, but that’s ways off.
In the mid-90s, large U.S. casino operators realized they couldn’t control the flow of money out of their coffers. So, they lobbied the U.S. government to do something. Soon after, the USA passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. It brought American online gambling to a standstill.
However, there was a catch to the new rules. It wasn’t illegal to gamble online. Instead, the new law made it illegal for financial firms to process online gambling payments. That was a problem for a while, and then came Bitcoin.
In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto released Bitcoin. It was the first working peer-to-peer electronic cash system. With Bitcoin, there are no third parties in the middle of payments. It’s fully peer-to-peer, like sending cash over the internet.
Suddenly, American gamblers had a way to gamble online again. While it’s still a legal grey area, offshore casinos widely accept Bitcoin and other altcoins. This has arguably made the UIGEA regulations unenforceable. Several U.S. states like Michigan have realized as much and have legalized iGaming. That’s a trend that’s highly likely to continue.
Bitcoin and other cryptos aren’t yet widely accepted at regulated gambling sites. However, as countries regulate cryptos, they probably will be accepted in time. In any case, cryptos have radically transformed how U.S online gambling works. Since the United States is the biggest gambling market in the world, it’s fair to say they’ve had an impact.
The gambling industry has been massively transformed by technology, and it will continue to be so. It’s fascinating to think about how far things have come and where they might go in the future. Could we someday be visiting virtual reality casinos? There are already a few. Whatever future technology comes about, you can be sure the gambling industry will be one of the first to adapt.