History, development and future of online casinos UK

History, development and future of online casinos UK

Published by Thisbe Savva, 2016-09-25

If you think of the speed of technological development these days, the invention of online casinos back in the day feels almost ancient. It all started in 1994 when they decided to start delivering licenses to the casino operators who were running their business online.

Online casinos have existed since the Internet became available for everyone

Naturally, the license is not enough if you are planning to establish an online casino, it's definitely not that easy and obviously you would need the appropriate software as well. Microgaming, which was founded in 1994, developed the first ever online casino software, and thanks to them, the first online casinos were able to start their operation.

The first online casinos

In 1995, Crypotlogic invented their cryptography technique which allows secure money transfers to and from online casinos. Then one year later, the same company opened their Intercasino which is considered to be the first casino online in the whole world. This casino is still up and running, and there is no end to it currently on the horizon. The second online casino in history was Microgaming’s 'The Gaming Club'.

Since everything happened more or less simultaneously, there’s been discussion about which one was actually fully operating first. As a conclusion, both companies, Microgaming and Cryptologic, have been crucial for the first steps of online casino business. To understand the dimension of the real boom following these first casino sites, in 1996, the number of online casinos was 15 and in 1997 it had gone up to 200.

The first online casino games

Anyone who tends to play online casinos these days would be very disappointed if they were taken back in time to the 90’s. Intercasino, for example, had only 18 games available in they early days, compared to the modern online casinos that offer hundreds of different casino games.

Way back then, video slots were something that hardly anyone could even dream of!

NetEnt and Microgaming, which both started their business mid-90’s, were still market leaders. Even today, they are both very strong, however, many emerging companies have appeared on the market during the last few years, such as Thunderkick and Quickspin. In the late 90’s the first online slot with a progressive jackpot was launched, and this was again one big step towards modern online casino games. This jackpot provided by Microgaming was called Cash Splash.

Online casinos in the 2000s

Despite the weak Internet connections during the 90’s there were already hundreds of online casinos up and running before the millennium. In 2002, Captain Cook’s Casino was the first online casino to announce over £1,000,000 progressive jackpot wins. After that, we’ve seen many other online casino billionaires rise, and prize pots too have become much higher since then. So far, it’s Microgaming’s Mega Moolah jackpot holding the record of the biggest ever jackpot win of stunning £13,213,838. It went to a lucky UK player last year.

In October 2006, the gambling industry had some struggling times when casino sites lost most of their US players. Some main online poker sites such as Full Tilt, and Poker Stars kept operating in the US until the government closed these sites in 2011. This phenomenon is called Black Friday. Operating in the EU has always been much easier for online casinos, since licenses like the one of Malta can provide their services without restrictions.

Mobile casinos in the 2010s

Smart phones and tablets becoming a big part of everyone’s life has again changed the world quite a bit. The same applies to the world of online gaming, and nowadays playing is possible from anywhere, you are no more bound to your desktop. Even though there are still some casinos which haven’t invested too much in their mobile sector, the number of players on mobile is increasing very quickly all the time.

There are also online casinos that are specialized in mobile gaming, such as LeoVegas which claims to be the “King of Mobile Casino”. We have a strong vision that the biggest part of the game play in online casinos will shift from desktop to mobile version in the future.

Future of online casinos

The online gambling business has been growing constantly, and there are no signs of end to that trend in the near future, especially with the booming mobile casino. Playing on mobile devices is possible anywhere, and anytime. This gives much more time and opportunities to online casinos. We are now looking forward to seeing what new online casinos 2017 have in store for us!

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