<:The Rise of Online Gambling:>

A look at the past, present and future of online gambling and where to start if you’re new to the game.

The History of Online Gambling

The first online casino was launched more than 20 years ago back in 1994 in Antigua. At the Inter Casino players had a choice of just 15 games! The market rapidly grew from 15 sites by the end of 1996 to over 200 by 1997. A report by business consultant and market research firm Frost and Sullivan in 1998 showed that online gambling revenues had already exceeded $830 million a year. The first Bingo site when live in 1998 and the first poker site, PlanetPoker, soon followed. By 1999 players could interact online with multiplayer games and chat rooms and by 2001 an estimated 8 million people were gambling online. 2003 saw a dramatic spike in the number of online poker sites and poker players when the World Series of Poker was first broadcast on television. In 2010 a report by H2 Gambling capital showed a 12.5% growth rate in the industry and in 2011 the first mobile gaming apps were launched. In 2014 Richard Branson entered the industry with Virgin Games while 2015 saw a player winning a historic €17.9 million on Microgaming’s progressive slot Mega Moolah.

Online Gambling Today

This year online gambling will generate a staggering $50.65 billion. In 2012 the the figure was closer $25 billion, that’s a huge increase of more than $25 billion or double the revenue in 5 years. The most popular gambling markets in the UK and in the United States are lotteries making up 40% and 63% of the market shares respectively. The National and State lotteries in the U.S are by far the most popular gambling sectors due to the strict gambling laws in many states. Lotteries are twice as popular as all other methods of gambling combined in the U.S. Sports betting is the game of choice for online players in the UK making up 32% of the market share but casino and other games continue to grow in popularity with a combined total of close to 13%. In the U.S they are even more popular and are the second most popular form of gambling in the country with a 20% market share. Bingo doesn’t get much love in the States (1%) but is hugely popular across the Atlantic (9%).

The Future of Online Gambling

The online gambling market is set to continue to grow and reach revenues of $56.05 billion by 2018. By 2021 the revenues from mobile and online gambling are predicted to hit a massive $946 billion. The growth in the market is expected to come from multiple sources with mobile gaming playing a major part. The spread of wi-fi and the explosion of the smartphone and tablet market has brought mobile gaming to the forefront of online gaming. An estimated 80% of all adults now own a smartphone. Players can now bet on sports or enjoy casino games anywhere at any time with the touch of button. New technologies will also see more sophisticated games appear on the market with better graphics and new gameplay ideas. Virtual reality gaming is also on the horizon and will bring players closer to the online casino action than ever. Online gaming has grown exponentially over the years and it shows no signs of slowing down.

Where to Start

Players new to online gaming are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing an online betting platform but sometimes such a wide range of options can be overwhelming. The best possible advice for all new players is to start off with one of the industry’s heavyweights. Companies like Betfair, BGO, Bet365, Ladbrokes etc. are well known and respected in the industry. They all very trustworthy and you know your money and personal details will be safe with them. They also all offer a huge range of betting offers and casino games so you can get a taste of everything that online gambling has to offer.


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