iGaming is an industry that is relatively young, dating back to 1994, but has roots in every part of human history. The iGaming industry has been quick to react to macro-economic changes, much like in the same way that the traditional gaming industry, especially in casino cities like Las Vegas and Atlantic City that have adapted to changing laws and technology to provide innovative offerings to customers.
What is iGaming?
iGaming is a term that refers to companies that provide computer versions of the traditional card and casino games like roulette, poker and blackjack. You can play the games in “single-player mode” where a player goes up against a computer or in various types of multiplayer options where players can compete against other humans. The name “iGaming” is an amalgamation of the words “internet” and “gaming,” referring to the fact that these types of games are almost exclusively played online. That’s because real money games and playing with other people would be impossible without an internet connection, as each players’ computer would need to communicate with the iGaming company’s servers.
The Early Days
Once online casinos legalized in 1994, the race to launch the first iGaming platform was on, with the first casino opening its virtual doors in 1995. While primitive in comparison to modern standards, the first online casinos were revolutionary and enabled millions of people to have access to casino games for the first time, all without having to leave their homes. The new online casinos were convenient in many ways, as players did not need to travel or adhere to any specific dress code, nor was there any limit as to what time they could play.
Computer technology developed with speed through the 1990s and into the 2000s, meaning people had faster computers, more powerful graphics processors and quicker internet connections. The iGaming industry used these advancements in technology to provide players with 3D graphics, improved animations, stereo-sound effects and social features like live chat. For the most part, though, players remained reliant on their clunky computers, and therefore, could only play at home.
Advancements in Mobile Technology
That changed rather quickly thanks to advancements in mobile technology that meant that mobile phones were able to do much more than making and receive calls and text messages. Thanks to touch screens, more powerful processing power and wireless technologies like Wi-Fi and 3G/4G, smartphones could be a genuine rival to computers for playing games. The iGaming industry was one of the first to seize this new opportunity, and a huge industry for mobile poker platforms quickly sprung up, offering both free and real money options that one could play almost anywhere in the world.
The Future of iGaming
While the future of computer technology is hard to forecast with specificity, it is safe to say that the iGaming industry will be quick to adopt new technologies as soon as they become available. Such is evident by the quick development of the first online casinos in the mid-1990s as well as their continued development ever since, including the adoption of mobile technologies. It’s also apparent in the industry’s current move toward virtual reality (VR) technology to offer a more immersive and real-life casino experience. iGaming has come a long way in only 25 years and looks to continue innovating for many years to come.