iGaming is the industry that offers all forms of online wagering including sports betting, bingo, and casino games. Today, it’s a multi-billion dollar sector that spans every continent with huge levels of competition among the businesses that operate within the space. This battle for market share is so strong that most brands offer bonuses to new players when they create an account and/or make a deposit.
But it didn’t start this way. Back in the early 90s, the iGaming industry didn’t even exist. It had technical and legal hurdles that needed to be overcome before the first bets could be placed online.
So, how did it happen and how did it grow into the giant that it is today?
In the Beginning
Like ecommerce, iGaming once only existed in theory. Academics pondered about the possibilities for remote wagering that the internet could yield, but the technology simply wasn’t ready to make this possible.
However, a series of changes took place in the 1990s that, when slotted together, provided the missing pieces required to complete this jigsaw.
The first was the passing of the Free Trade and Processing Zone Act of 1994 in Antigua and Barbuda that made it possible for companies to set up online casinos and sportsbooks in the country. The second was the release of Windows 95, which kick-started the revolution for getting a computer and an internet connection in every home.
By 1995, the first iGaming sites had launched, and by the early 2000s, the early signs of what we know today had begun to show.
Keeping Up With Technology
Although these first two hurdles were important for helping iGaming get off the ground, it still needed to adapt and evolve to become the huge industry that it is today.
Smartphones, video streaming, faster internet connections, HTML5, and even VR have all been embraced by iGaming companies.
Similar to how casual gaming has helped to expand the video gaming market, these technologies have helped iGaming to appeal to a much wider audience, allowing it to grow and grow.
The Perfect Balance
To succeed, iGaming needs a balance of ideal legal and technical conditions. In regions like the UK, where both are harmoniously aligned, these companies can thrive while their customers have fun playing their favourite games.
In markets like the US, where the legal conditions have only recently swung in the sector’s favor, we can now see a huge rush as big operators clamber to try and become a dominant player.
As we can see from its history, it’s this balance that helps iGaming grow and thrive, and it’s something that investors will always want to look out for.