The simple yet alluring act of wagering money on the unknown outcome of an event, all the time hopeful that luck will swing in your favor, and that you’ll make obscene amounts of “easy money”.
Now, I’m not here to advocate for or against gambling, but I thought it would be interesting to have a look at the history of gambling and where it’s headed.
The history of gambling goes way back in time. Have a look at human history and you’ll come to know that gambling has been part of our civilization for ages.
When did gambling begin? What were the first kind of games available?
The earliest recorded evidence of gambling is in 2300 BC where a lottery-type game was in place:
- In China, there are several books and evidences which pointed to lotteries.
- In the year 200 BC, lotteries began to involve keno slips.
- Greek history mentions dice based games with evidence from as far as 500bc, though it is believed to have been in existence much before that.
Thus there is no dearth of evidence to prove that gambling is not something that is new to us or something that cropped up a few decades ago.
However, for us – the tech savvy, online generation – 1994 was a big year. That was the year that online gambling came into existence. Can you imagine it? Within just a few years, the online gambling came to be worth a billion dollars.
Now, in 2017, the online gambling market is worth far more than that – something to the tune of $36 billion dollars!
What kind of regulation problems did online gambling face?
All coins have two sides, and online gambling is no exception. There are several challenges that the online gambling industry is facing or will soon face in some countries.
Of the myriad regulation challenges, three stand out as being the most prominent:
- Verification of age of the players,
- Local regulations, and
- Compliance issues.
Numerous countries are gradually implementing rules like, you having to be a resident of a country in order to participate in online gambling.
One of the strictest states to crack down on online gambling is Singapore.
They essentially passed law which dictated that gambling in Singapore, even if using remote connection or communication was illegal.
Where is Online Gambling Now?
As if the online gambling wasn’t prevalent enough, the use of mobile devices has skyrocketed its presence even more.
In the year 2014, the online gambling industry stood at a staggering $35.97 billion net worth. The industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.81% to an estimated $66.59 billion by the year 2020. This is all backed up by increasing number of online gambling users and also more countries making it legal.
As of now about 80 countries across the globe have made gambling legal. Most of these are European countries, which are largely considered less conservative.
The Super Bowl of Online Poker
You may have come across ads by PokerStars that are only helping this endeavor.
The website was the first one to organize a world series of poker back in the year 2003. PokerStars is the largest online poker website in the world and controls more than two third of the online poker industry. They organize several online tournaments, some of which run on a weekly basis.
Today, PokerStar’s online tournaments guarantee a $ 1 million pool prize money with buy-ins as low as $215. In 2011, saw one of PokerStar’s largest tournaments, with 59,128 players and prize money of $11.8 million.
There are countless sites on the internet with casino type offerings. With so much competition, many sites have had to innovate. Now, platforms like Netbet provide games that resemble regular online games, complete with alluring graphics and immersive gameplay.
Other platforms have taken a step back – instead of the very impersonal automated deals and games, they actually offer real life dealers that can interact and speak with you.
There are just so many possible ways that online casinos can evolve!
What is the future of gambling?
There is no denying the fact that online gambling will only get stronger. Few countries at this point are taking a step back to provide with regulations and compliances that the sites have to comply to. Once all this is done, the number of countries where online gambling is legal will only increase. And with that the number of players who are involved with these games will also increase and so will the prize money.