We have records of humans gambling that go back nearly two thousand years, starting with games played by rolling dice as early as 100 A.D. Today’s gambling experience is quite different, but to really appreciate the changes in the gambling market, it’s helpful to take a look at just how much it’s changed over the years.
Gambling As an Industry
We’ll skip the earliest years of dice-tossing and individuals making wagers on card games and skip to the 1790’s, when gambling first started becoming recognized as an industry. A man named Harry Ogden is the first person on record to profit from bookmaking on horse races. By the mid-1800’s, gambling had taken off, sending some governments scrambling to legislate it and insulate society from its supposedly damaging effects. The industry continued unabated, however, and legislative bodies eventually had to give in.
In the 1900s, betting shops began to spring up in the UK, while Canada and the United States started holding lotteries – and eventually, to build casinos. As technology entered the picture, betting on live sporting events shifted to watching them on television, while video gambling machines began to make their appearance in casinos everywhere.
From In-Person to Online
The biggest shift in gambling technology came with the rise of the internet. The first online casinos opened in 1994. Despite their limited range of games and clunky graphics, people were impressed and incredibly excited about having the ability to play casino games from home. As competition began to increase amongst online casino companies, they began battling it out for customers, offering loyalty bonuses and free bets to people who registered for the first time. As all this was happening, another type of online gambling began to appear: online sports betting.
Secure sports betting sites took gambling out of the casino realm and gave players the ability to place wagers on a wide variety of sporting events without ever picking up the telephone or visiting a bookie in person. Like the casino gambling sites, the sports betting sites also offered a wide variety of bonuses and freebies to their customers.
As website technology has improved, so has players’ access to their favorite games and betting sites. The newest wave of online betting has come in the form of betting apps. We’ve finally reached a world where not only are dice, cards, and human bookies no longer necessary, but we don’t even have to sit down at our computers to play. What will be the next technological wave to take the gambling industry by storm?