Over the course of the past decade, online casino gaming has become more and more prominent in western culture.
In the United Kingdom and, most recently, in the United States gambling fans have increasingly been turning to online casino sites to get their fill of the best slots, poker games, blackjack and more.
In this article we look at how and why that has happened as well as trying to gauge the impact that the online gaming industry has had on the fortunes of casino games.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the online gaming industry and casino games.
The Rise of Online Gaming
Online gaming can trace its origins back to the 1970s with the game Multi-User Dungeon 1 (MUD1), created by Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle at the University of Essex. Thanks to packet-based computer networking, MUD1 could be played effectively ‘online’.
That said, online gaming as we know it didn’t really become commonplace until the 2000s thanks to the perfect storm of wider internet uptake and lower technology costs.
Massive multiplayer online games (MMOs) like World of Warcraft, Star Wars Galaxies and Guild Wars 2 would go on to dominate the market, riding the crest of online gaming popularity for the rest of the decade.
At the beginning of the 2010s there weren’t only innovations under way that would take online gaming to the next level, but there were a number of other industries looking to follow the example of online video gaming, one of them was the gambling industry.
Online Gambling Growth
It was around the early 2010s that the gambling industry really began to focus on developing its online presence. Prior there had been numerous half-hearted attempts from individual companies to create online gambling hubs, but none had had much success.
The first area that was targeted by online gambling companies was the mobile app market, which at that time was slowly but surely growing. Purpose built, state of the art apps were invested in and within a few years, the online gambling industry was firmly established and was a fan favourite.
The early success of mobile gambling apps saw huge swathes of providers rushing to release their own apps and grab a slice of the action. The end result for consumers is that there is no shortage of great online casino sites to choose from.
In 2019, the online gambling became the biggest industry sector in the United Kingdom, generating a Gross Gambling Yield of £5.7 billion and making up over 40% of the overall gambling market. Now there are many established casino providers operating in the UK targeting their games at UK players.
It is because of the early work put into developing mobile apps in the early 2010s that the remote sector has gained so much traction, not just in the UK but elsewhere around the world too.
Online Gambling’s Impact on Casino Games
In terms of popularity and revenues, the biggest player in the online gambling industry is the sports betting sector. Mobile apps have proved incredibly popular with sports fans, allowing them to place live, in-play bets whether they are sat in the stands at their favourite stadium or watching at home from the sofa.
Another big winner from gambling’s move online is the humble slot machine, which has seen its popularity rise tenfold in recent years.
Thanks to advances in technology and increased internet speeds, gambling fans can enjoy top-tier slot machines whether they are sat at home connected to Wi-Fi or riding the bus to work.
So what of traditional casino games like poker, blackjack and roulette? Have they been left behind by a younger demographic, more interested in the speed and excitement of slot machines and sports betting?
Well, sort of yes but also, sort of no. There’s no question that casino games aren’t as popular as other forms of online gambling, but they haven’t been totally forgotten. There is still a dedicated core of players that log on regularly to spin the roulette wheel or take on the blackjack dealer.
In fact, there’s an argument to be made that online gambling has helped to keep classic table games alive.
Industry statistics show that younger generations are increasingly deciding to stay away from land-based casinos and that even when they do visit, they tend to avoid table games and opt for slot machines or non-gambling modes of entertainment.
Therefore, whilst classic table games are the least popular type of game for online gamblers, their inclusion on top online casino sites is helping to keep them relevant with the next generation of gamblers.
The online gambling industry is a great example of how a sector can, with the right timing and right approach, take advantage of market circumstances to become a global player. With the winds of success at its back, the online gambling industry is now in a position in which it needs to evolve and reinvent itself.
If rumours of further live casino adoption and VR and AR casinos are to be believed, then it seems that the industry is keen to do just that. In the coming years, expect to see further growth and further innovation from the online gambling industry.