The online gaming industry has been transformed by technology, however many people are unaware just how much the industry has changed since gaming first went online.
In just over a decade, games which were once only available in casinos have now helped online gaming to develop into a multi-million dollar online industry and you can even try your luck playing slot machine at netbet.
People of all ages and ethnicities are spending time online and engaging in rewarding and challenging games. The industry was initially male-dominated, but the demographics have expanded year after year to include more women and older age groups. Females gaming online have increased by more than 80% in Europe and many older people appreciate the chance to play online, make new friends and potentially earn money- all without leaving the comfort of their own home.
Antigua and Barbuda first allowed operators to get a license for online gambling in the 1990’s, so players could spend money playing online. Under the law, organisations could offer slots, poker and other popular games online. However, gaming software wasn’t exactly functional, so Microgaming Software Systems revolutionised the online gaming industry when they developed gaming software which was both functional and faster.
The next problem was finding a way to ensure that players could enter in their payment information online without the threat of being hacked- a problem that Cytologic solved by developing encryption software.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the industry, especially in the United States when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed by Congress in 2006. This law basically prevented most Americans from gambling online by making it illegal for credit card companies and banks to process transactions if they occurred on online gaming sites. While some states have since legalised these games, it’s still very much up to the individual state.
New Jersey has done particularly well out of online gaming, and by 2017 it is expected to be generating more than $463 million. The United States as a whole generated around $41.4 million in online gambling profits last year.
Online gambling is a right for adults in Europe, and has long enjoyed the profits associated with gambling on the internet. In the United States, established businesses and casinos have been complaining and protesting about losing money due to many people preferring to gamble from home. The Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling are trying to convince Congress to make the websites illegal and are even hiring consultants and lobbyists to further their cause.
The main argument that the coalition is using is the idea that online gambling websites increase the chances of users becoming addicted to gambling, although this has actually been proven to be a fallacy by Harvard, which offered research papers showing no link between addiction and online gaming.
The only question for an industry which continues to grow year after year is what will be next? Evidence shows that mobile gaming could very well be the “next big thing”, so it will be interesting to see where the industry goes in the future.