The shift in gambling – how technology changed things

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It is very hard to find an industry, or a business field that has been left unaffected and unchanged by technology, and by technology in this context and in this occasion, we mean computers and internet technology. Even the most traditional, most conservative industries have been affected. Take for instance the food industry has been affected, at least when it comes to placing orders, organising production and delivery. The hospitality and travel industries have been changed a lot more dramatically. Most people now book their travels online and that makes things a lot easier and a lot more convenient for them. Technology has truly transformed the travel industry.

Gaming has also been changed in a dramatic way. Before computers and game consoles it is difficult to say that there was such a thing as a gaming industry, or even gaming as a phenomenon, before computers. The internet changed gaming even more dramatically. Playing games in the past meant playing conventional games, like hide and seek, or playing with toy dolls, or at best board games, whereas gaming specifically refers to the type of virtual games played on PCs, tablets, mobile phones, or various consoles like xBox or Sega.

The rise of online gambling

Casino and slot gaming, much like conventional gaming was affected and influenced by technology and technological advancements. When the first online casinos appeared back in the 1990s, very few suspected that they will have the success and popularity that they now have. It seemed more of a fringe thing and land-based casinos remained the main form of gambling entertainment for most people. Still in the following few years, as online casinos improved the level of security and user-friendliness, many players started seeing online sites as a viable alternative.

For those who didn’t live near a land-based casino, online gaming became a very convenient form of entertainment. As the internet use and reach expanded, so did the number of people who have access to online casinos, as well as the number of the actual players.

A glimpse of the figures and the industry size will really give you a perspective of the magnitude of the growth. While the market volume of the industry amounted to $45.8 billion in 2017, its estimated size in 2024 is $94.4 billion, statistics show.

Laws reflect reality

In the first years, online gambling was largely unregulated, so in a way it was neither legal nor illegal. Since 2000 onwards, states started passing legislation that covers and regulates online gambling. In most cases, online gambling’s status was legalised in all countries where conventional gambling was legal, with one notable example – the US. While there are heavy restrictions regarding land-based casinos in America, in most states there are facilities where it is possible to gamble, since 2006 and the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, most forms of online gambling were strictly prohibited in almost all states.

The UK for instance, took a quite different approach and the Gambling Act of 2005 legalised most forms of online gambling. The number of players kept on growing and the popularisation of smartphones surely helped the cause.

Modern slots – dynamic and diverse

It may seem like the legal aspect of the whole online gambling market has little to do with technology, but in reality, the laws simply reflected what was already happening – people were gambling online, and they were doing that thanks to technology and the technological developments.

The choice of games that was available during the first years of online gambling was quite limited. The engines that slot developers used to build games also improved over time and the games kept getting better and better. Modern games like Jammin’ Jars slot look incredibly advanced when compared to slots from a decade ago, let alone slots from the era before the internet.

And the changes aren’t just in terms of graphics and visual elements, but the gameplay aspects as well. Slots come with a lot more features, including bonus games and other options where players get to make decisions. Games are a lot more interactive and that’s a reflection of conventional video games and how they have progressed over the years.