Thanks to the adrenaline rush players get from taking a risk, gambling remains very popular and exciting. In fact, that feeling still hasn’t changed since the very beginnings of gambling. Even though gambling still is a popular hobby, we have witnessed a lot of innovations and technology advancements in the gambling industry that have changed the way people play. Now let’s have a look at some of the gambling innovations that have made impact on the gambling industry, and shaped the way we see both land-based and online casinos.
- Video Slot Machines
The casinos have spent years searching for the ways to make the games more flexible, entertaining and attractive. The first attempt was made in 1897, when mechanical slot machine was invented by Charles August Fay from San Francisco. The slot had 3 rolls with 4 different symbols and was called the Liberty Bell.
However, the first complete video slot, Fortune Coin, was invented in 1975, at the time when the first slot machines were offered in land-based casinos. After the 1980, slots became more advanced and more popular, thanks to their unique themes, exciting bonus games, authentic sound, special features and generous jackpots. Finally, the capability to adjust the probability on the machine allowed casinos to offer increasing jackpots, eventually leading to the progressive ones.
- Progressive Jackpots
The progressive jackpot era began after the release of Megabucks, the video slot that was famous for offering a variable jackpot, which grew by a certain amount every time it was played. Usually, the biggest jackpots never exceeded a few thousand dollars, whereas Megabucks offered lucky winner a possibility to walk away with hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars.
The first progressive jackpot that many people remember, was hit in 1987 and was worth nearly $5 million, which consequently made progressive slots become more popular. In spite of the very low chance of winning the jackpot, progressive slots still are among the most popular games in both land-based and online casinos.
- Online Gambling
Most jurisdictions around the world used to prohibit gambling and even if gambling was legal in a certain country, the nearest public casino was probably hundreds of miles away. On the other hand, all the online gambling innovations brought online slots and casino games to the wider audience.
Namely, Antigua and Barbuda was the first jurisdiction that offered operators the possibility to apply for licenses after passing the Free Trade & Processing Act, in 1994. Then, in 1996, the very first online bet was placed at InterCasino and that was the time when the online gambling industry has started to develop. Nowadays, with thousands of online casinos operating in more than 85 countries, real-money casino games are more accessible than ever before.
- Live Dealer Games
Once real-money gaming first became popular, a lot of people hesitated to play, as they doubted the trustworthiness of the casino games. Some players, on the other hand, were insecure with the security transactions and therefore avoided to join online casinos. After the 2000s, with the access to high-speed internet connections, live dealer games started to become very popular.
In particular, live roulette, live blackjack and live baccarat enthusiasts finally got the chance to interact in real time, with real human dealers, that were placed in a studio. In terms of technology innovations, these games are as closest as one can get to fully resembling casino experience.
- Mobile Gambling
At the beginning of the digital mobile phone expansion in the early 2000s, mobile casino games started to be created, though these were initially simple black-and-white games made for fun. However, after the smartphone era and the iPhone release in 2007, that casinos seriously came to the idea to start producing real-money mobile casino games.
Today, we are surrounded by dozens of online casinos offering hundreds of diverse video slots and table games, all adjusted to the small screens of our smartphones. Mobile casinos advanced so fast that they even offer full banking capabilities through mobile phones, without the need of logging on to the desktop version of the casino.
- Social Gaming
Social casino games have become very famous lately, with fake-money online poker games, bingo rooms, and slot machines being amongst the most popular ones. Interestingly, these games do not offer players a possibility to win real money.
Instead, they can enjoy the thrill of playing for free or buy spins or chips and try to compete with other plays by winning the games. Most of these games involve chat rooms where people can interact with each other during their gameplay, which altogether makes it a unique social experience.
- VR Gambling
Virtual reality has started to enter the mainstream with the Sony Playstation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, giving players the ability to feel like they’re somewhere else. The reason why VR gambling gained so much popularity at online casinos is the fact that when you put one of the headsets on, you get the feeling like you’re living inside an alternate reality.
There’s no doubt that technology has evolved a lot over the past 20 years, and its development is probably the most obvious in the gambling industry. Even though there is no saying what the future may bring, at this point we can say that online gambling has been a developing topic recently and all these technology innovations (as well as the new ones) will only continue to influence this industry.