The online gambling industry has been growing its revenue, taking more market share from land-based gambling businesses. The emergence of the Internet is one of the main factors contributing to this expansion, especially because of its increased reach among potential customers.
In 2020, online gambling revenues hit an all-time high, with $466 billion reported as global revenue for the industry. Analysts have estimated that with the relaxation of gambling laws and regulations in more developed countries, there should be a compound growth of 10% in revenue each year.
For example, even though gambling laws are becoming stricter in Finland, Finnish players can still enjoy a wide range of online casino games like blackjack and poker on platforms like ahti games. Most individuals enjoy these games on their smartphones, prompting further investigation into how smartphones are influencing the casino industry.
The beginning of online casino games
Microgaming, a game development company, pioneered the online casino industry. In the mid-1990s, the company designed and launched the first online casino. This casino is only accessible to people with a PC.
The online casino failed due to the high cost of computers at the time. After adjusting for inflation, the median price of a PC in the mid-1990s was $2,500. This meant that only people with higher incomes in the middle class and upper class were the target audience.
In the mid-2000s, the gaming industry experienced a major shift to the Internet. Meanwhile, the number of online gambling businesses has grown exponentially all over the world. Although the websites were better designed than Microgaming, in retrospect they still seemed light years behind.
Every year there was an obvious improvement in the design and user experience of online game companies. However, the big leap came in 2007 after the production of the first smartphones. When Steve Jobs created the iPhone, other companies followed suit and developed smartphones that currently dominate the market.
Meanwhile, the casino industry has remained focused on improving the quality of PC gaming and has largely ignored mobile apps. Nevertheless, in the early 2010s, online casinos started to focus on creating apps that provide better user experience.
How smartphones will continue to impact the casino market
It is fair to say that the casino industry would not reach the level it is today without the widespread adoption of smartphones. The main appeal of casino websites and smartphone apps is the ease of accessing games from anywhere at any time of the day.
While it seems accurate to say that smartphones will continue to power the online casino industry for many years to come, that might not be the case. The development of augmented and virtual reality are technologies that can attract more players to the sector and ultimately increase revenue.
The smartphone has remained at the forefront of the current success of the casino industry. Nearly half a trillion dollars was won solely through online gambling in 2020.
Microgaming propelled the beginning and evolution of online casino games. Online casino games have developed over the years to provide players with a better and more exciting experience. Currently, the development of augmented and virtual reality technologies is shaping up to be the next catalyst for the online casino industry.