Casinos manage to combine old-school glamour and traditional appeal with games that have been popular for centuries, with cutting-edge technology designed to keep players happy and entertained. From the first days of community gambling to the rise of online operators and everything they have to offer, technology has helped the industry evolve into something nearly unrecognizable. The industry is still shifting, always ready to add new features to slots or try out a new type of streaming or recording service which might offer online players a clearer stream. This article will explore the evolution of casinos and how technology helped transform them.
The early history of casinos
In 1638, Venice became home to what we now recognize as one of the first casinos. It was called the Theatre Saint Moses, and its gambling wings were initially intended to be a distraction to guests during intermission. The idea became a popular one, with other casinos quickly being built across the city. By 1744, Venice hosted more than 120 of them. For just about a century, casinos were staples throughout Europe and offered similar games and atmosphere over the years.
In 1894, that all changed. With the introduction of slot machines, casinos were no longer home to primarily card games. It was suddenly possible for players without blackjack or poker skills to make money, and more and more users began to frequent them for their shot to win big. This is perhaps the first example of advances in technology impacting the gambling industry, but it certainly was not the last.
In 1961, betting shops were finally legalized, and players quickly took advantage of the decision, with 10,000 shops opening in the first six months post-legalization. Once again, technology helped change the way gambling worked. In gambling shops, something called a “board man” was responsible for listening to race prices and results via a wire service. These were, in turn, relayed to anxious bettors awaiting their opportunity to place a winning bid.
Casinos continued in this vein, some of them offering both slots and traditional card games along with sports betting options. A few shifts in the structure of land-based casinos occurred, such as when food and drinks first began circulating while players were involved in their respective games, but there was nothing too earth-shattering for several decades. Then, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the worldwide web rose to prominence, with computers quickly becoming an indispensable part of daily life. And as the world began to alter the way we lived our lives radically, casinos undertook another significant shift.
Evolution of online casinos
As websites became more developed and video technology and graphic design matured a bit, online casinos quickly established themselves as an increasingly popular online gaming option. This began surprisingly early, too, with the first online casino opening in 1995 by Microgaming. By the time 1996 came to an end, the internet hosted roughly 15 internet-based online casinos. By the end of 1997, that number had jumped exponentially to over 200, although it includes sportsbooks and poker sites along with establishments offering strictly online casino gaming.
Online casinos have changed a bit since 1996. Technology growth waits for no man, and computer technology evolved incredibly quickly. From video slots loaded with bonus features to the dawn of live dealer titles, advances in available streaming technology have utterly transformed how players interact with online casinos, as well as the extent to which online casinos can offer the same kind of frantic energy and excitement as land-based casinos.
Even today, online casinos continue to shift and change. There are three areas where this growth can be seen today. Cryptocurrency, mobile gaming, and virtual reality are poised to revolutionize the online gambling industry yet again. Let’s take a look at how innovation is changing internet-based gambling.
Cryptocurrency likely isn’t a new idea to many readers. The currency has been gaining mainstream recognition and popularity for years now, with even visionaries like Elon Musk investing in cryptocurrency tokens. Fewer readers might realize that digital money and payment processing technology is changing how players transmit information and deposit and withdraw funds.
The past few years have seen a rise in “crypto casinos,” online operators which focus on making cryptocurrencies the payment method of choice. This allows players to guard their identity while enjoying quick transactions with low, if any, cost. The payment method is seeing a marked increase in popularity.
Mobile gaming is perhaps the logical progression of online gaming. Today’s smartphones are powerful computers capable of doing almost anything a laptop or desktop system can do. They also tend to feature screens optimized for use as well as for show, combining features that maximize resolution and colour saturation with variable lighting options to make staring at them for long periods more bearable. It is no surprise that increasing numbers of players are demanding that casinos offer mobile-friendly gambling options so they can play while they go.
Virtual reality might not be convenient to use yet; however, it is quickly becoming more available to “normal” users – users without a large amount of spare cash to dedicate to a gaming setup. This has spurred some game developers to implement augmented reality and virtual reality in their games. Offering players, a more authentic casino experience, virtual reality could dramatically change the way players gamble online. With live streaming incorporated the possibilities are endless, even if you’re new to streaming you’ll pick it up pretty quickly and see the power of this medium!
What do you think is next for the online casino industry? There are a few different ways they could evolve in the next few years. Depending upon the availability and quality of future virtual reality technology, some providers might aggressively pursue the creation of virtual online casinos or casinos that players can experience from the comfort of their homes. Given the existing technology, others might simply focus on creating the best mobile and PC gaming possible, constantly refining their offerings.
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