All over the world online gambling games are rising in popularity. People no longer need to travel to Las Vegas or a land-based casino to get a dose of gambling thrills. The new gambling entertainment ecosystem seeks to accommodate everybody regardless of their taste or level of experience.
When the internet started entering the mainstream at the beginning of the 21st century, personal computers were still considered a luxury. Nowadays, everybody and their grandmother have a computer in their house. By the end of the 1980s, some 13% of UK households had a computer in them. Today, that number is close to 90. More than that, we’ve got little computers in our hands all day every day. Smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and other devices have almost become a cybernetic extension of ourselves. A modern person is plugged into the greatest information and entertainment database in human history nearly 24/7. Naturally, this trend extends to gambling online as well.
This branch of the online entertainment industry has seen a meteoric rise over the last 2 decades and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. Online gambling came into existence pretty much around the same time when people started using the internet on a massive scale. The phenomenon of the internet changed everything forever in nearly all industries and facets of doing business. Gambling was no exception to that. No longer do gamblers have to visit land-based casinos in order to get their thrills. You can access online gambling sites while laying back on your couch in your home now. Land casinos had no choice but to adapt to the shifting landscape. Today, pretty much all of the big land casino companies also support online gambling. They have created their own dedicated websites that they use to give the modern customer what he/she needs. And that seems to be comfort and reliability.
Pretty much all of humanity’s progress has been oriented towards making our lives easier and our work more efficient and less of a physical hassle, so as to increase our level of comfort. You might have mixed feelings about that, but that’s the reason why we have so many amazing technologies nowadays. That’s also the reason why gambling sites we have today are so sophisticated, yet still easy-to-use and intuitive.
Another reason why we’ve seen such a rise in online gambling and its quality is the fact that the internet made opening up a casino relatively easier. You no longer had to buy, build or rent a building, renovate, stack up on the inventory, hire way too many people who need to be paid salaries, buy a bunch of gambling equipment, etc. You just had to obtain proper licenses, build a functioning website, ensure its fairness and security, provide a decent range of fun gambling games, and attract customers. Now, that still seems like a lot of work and it is. Running an online casino is still a meticulous, challenging task that functions by using the same fundamental business truths and rules. Even so, it is still much, much easier and less time and money-consuming than building a land casino.
Profitability and competition in the online gambling market
That meant that an ever-rising number of companies started flooding the market. This put enormous pressure on land-based casinos and online gambling giants to rise up to the challenge. As we all know, increased competition in general means lower prices and better service for the average customer. This basic rule of economics didn’t fail in this case either.
As more and more online casinos started obtaining licenses from the UK gambling commission or other regulatory bodies across the international community, others were forced to compete. As more and more players entered the ecosystem, more and more providers emerged as well. The existing ones had to either fold or improve the quality, quantity, and reliability of the services they provided. This resulted in a convoluted, multi-faceted and highly profitable world of online gambling as it exists today.
A mindblowing amount of money is currently circulating within the system. The industry has been growing at unprecedented rates. Coupled with gradually loosening gambling regulations around the World, this resulted in an industry worth tens of billions of pounds. The best online gambling sites are raking in mesmerizing amounts of money, while also dishing out significant winnings and millions upon millions in prizes and jackpots. This number is expected to keep increasing to an unknown degree. Experts believe that during the next few years to come, the industry will be worth well over £40 billion.
The fact that the world is now more interconnected than ever is a major reason why the industry reached such magnitude. Over the last two decades, governments around the world have looked at online gambling quite skeptically. Be it for moral or security concerns, a lot of countries implemented quite strict regulations regarding online gambling. And the debate is still ongoing today. The attitudes are still quite divided. Issues like regulating gambling advertisements, gambling addiction control, online gambling fraud, and many others still plague the industry. This causes divided moods in the government and in the population as well.
Still, the mood has shifted. As security mechanisms increase, people also become better acquainted with navigating the internet and are better able to evade scams. Therefore, over the last few years, especially in the European Union, the regulations and laws are becoming less strict. As we mentioned, certain topics still divide the crowds, but overall, the outlook is a lot more optimistic. Some of the best gambling sites and companies are actually listed on the most prestigious stock exchanges and are considered to be legitimate investing choices. It appears that the stigma surrounding the gambling business is slowly starting to dissipate which is good news both for the providers as well as their customers.
The first gambling websites and the impact of technology
The origins of online gaming as such can be traced back to the Free Trade & Processing Act that passed in Antigua and Barbuda all the way back in 1994. This allowed the Carribean country to start selling online casino licenses to those who desired them. This also allowed people who wanted to create online casinos but couldn’t obtain necessary permits from their own governments to circumvent those laws. To this day the Carribean countries remain one of the foremost providers of gambling licenses in the world. In the following years, many online casinos were created and the industry has been developing rapidly ever since.
The first gambling website in the world was actually a casino called Gaming Club. As for the company that’s credited with the creation of this historical landmark, that title goes to Microgaming. Yes, the leading video slots developer you’ve probably heard about was the first company to roll out a fully functioning online casino for the general population to indulge in. A number of companies have tried to claim this title, but all the evidence points to the fact that the folks over at Microgaming were the actual trailblazers of the now multi-billion pound industry. Microgaming was established in 1994 and is based on the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man is a self-governing island under the British crown, located somewhere between Ireland and Ireland in the Irish sea.
You’ve probably heard of this mental exercise: If you gradually replace all parts of a moving train, is the train that arrives at the station still the same one that left? As time went on, a lot of many significant advancements were made in the field of technology. The internet became more complex, more secure, and the technology we’re operating with today is nearly unrecognizable from the one we had in 1994. However, the basic operating principles still remain the same. Just like the basic laws of physics and engineering that allow the train to move forward would not have changed if we slowly replaced it entirely.
The internet makes our lives and jobs easier. And if we want to unwind after a long day or make a few extra pounds on the side, we’re free to do that on state-of-the-art gambling sites UK and other countries have operating today. This was a gradual process, of course. However, as the level of progress increased, so did the number of people flocking to these websites. Technology improved these services to the point where you can securely and confidently wager money on beautifully designed, intuitive websites that would be inconceivable just two decades ago.
Whether you want to engage in a game of Roulette, shuffle some cards around in Poker, try your luck out in Blackjack or just play a gorgeous video slot machine, you can do that in an incredibly accommodating and convenient environment. The companies are earning more, which motivates them to dish out more significant prizes, which brings in even more players etc.
If you want to get a little specific about the numbers we’re talking about, in 2010, a PokerStars online Poker tournament dubbed World Championship of Online Poker had a prize pool of a whopping 12.22 million USD. At the end of the tournament, the first prize of about 2.3 million USD went to professional online Poker player Tyson Marks.
This creates a mutually beneficial gambling game loop that nearly everyone enjoys being a part of. That is unless they manage to fall victim to a scam website or have a gambling addiction problem. And even in those cases, we have a lot of ways to combat those issues nowadays. There’s a sea of information available on the internet about how to protect yourself from scams, how to install effective firewalls, how to manage the personal data that you put out into the worldwide web etc. As for addiction, organizations like GambleAware are doing tremendous work promoting safe gambling practices and helping out those in need of psychological help.
Orienting yourself in this new enormous ecosystem
It’s beyond doubt that online gambling entertainment has experienced some drastic changes over the years. Apparently, Lottery sites experienced a sales increase of 22% since 2013. Online casino games usage skyrocketed as well.
When it comes to online gambling UK is one of the clear leaders of the industry. The population here is extremely involved in this activity. Much of that is due to the unheard level of popularity that Football has in the country. However, video slots are quite popular in the UK as well. The UK alone has over 2,800 licensed gambling providers. The total gross gambling yield in the country was 14.4 billion pounds from April 2017 to March 2018. That’s a staggering number.
The online gambling industry doesn’t shy away from using some of that wealth to help people out as well. Humanitarian initiatives and gambling addiction prevention efforts are extremely well-funded due to the efforts of the industry. It’s estimated that some 1.5 billion pounds went to good causes in the UK over the aforementioned period of time. The sort of gambling UK tries to provide for the world definitely takes into account the negative aspects and the damaging potential of the activities they’re trying to promote. Therefore, the country does a lot to try and combat these challenges as they arise.
Advertising is also an integral part of this giant new industry. Gambling companies occupy billboards, social media websites, they sponsor Football clubs, buy screen and air time etc. Gambling advertising itself has become an industry within an industry it would seem. It alone sees billions of pounds in turnover every year. That amount is constantly increasing as well.
In this incredibly large and complex ecosystem, it’s easy to get dizzy and lose track. New websites, intriguing new products, interactive services, a sea of advertising every minute of every day. There’s so much information available with a large chunk of it is either misinformation or straight up lies. In those circumstances, one needs to learn how to keep focus and not stray from the safe path. We’re hoping that our online gambling guide will help you do just that. We try to provide our readers with tools to filter the plethora of content that they’re bombarded with every day. If the job we do helps at least one person, then we’re on the right track. Join our community and educate yourself about this new world of online gambling.