The Evolution of Online Gambling From the Early Days to the Present

The Evolution of Online Gambling From the Early Days to the Present

As the gambling landscape has transformed, so too have regulatory frameworks and consumer behaviour. KTO has played a key role in this evolution, adhering to all required regulations and often surpassing them.

The history of online gambling can be traced back to 1994 when Antigua and Barbuda introduced the Free Trade and Processing Act. This allowed companies to set up online casinos in the tiny Caribbean island.

The Early Years

At its birth in 1994, online gambling sites had a hard time getting established due to the fact that internet financial transactions weren’t as secure as they are today. However, they soon gained popularity amongst players.

Competition between online casinos started to soar and soon multiplayer games, themed slots and big progressive jackpots surfaced making the industry even more appealing to players.

The Early 2000s

In the early 2000s online gambling started to become a multibillion-dollar industry. This happened when the Internet was fully commercialized and companies like CryptoLogic made actual money transactions on the Web very secure for players.

This is also when an Isle of Man-based company called Microgaming emerged – responsible for some of the most popular online casino games today. The future was clear!

The Early 2010s

In this period, online gambling exploded into the multibillion-dollar industry it is today. Online casinos began to gamify their products, offering players the chance to compete with fellow users in various games through leaderboards, levelled rewards and other game-like features.

All this appealed to a large audience and, unsurprisingly, at home remained the dominant location for online gambling. This is still the case to this day.

The Early 2011s

This release presents the results from a quarterly online survey conducted with a nationally representative sample of 8,000 adults in Great Britain. It finds that while smartphones continue to dominate the way we gamble, laptops and PCs still play a significant role as well. The growth of eSports betting is also evident, driven mainly by younger males.

At home continues to be the main location where gambling occurs, but it is notable that one in five have done so while at work or on their commuting journey. Longitudinal research will be crucial to explore this issue further.

The Early 2012s

Online gambling has become increasingly popular since the 1990s. Unlike traditional casinos, online casino games can be played in the comfort of your own home or wherever you choose to gamble.

While most people gamble at home, one in five have also done so elsewhere. This can present additional risks for children and vulnerable groups. It is important to research and identify early risk indicators.

The Early 2013s

Online gambling is now offered in many countries around the world. While many countries restrict or ban it, others regulate it.

Online gambling is mainly done ‘at home’ but one in five gambles ‘outside the home’. Having played video games was associated with being an online gambler (both ever and frequent). Being on disability pension, work assessment allowance or being a homemaker also increased the likelihood of having gambled online.

The Early 2014s

Online gambling is now more than a pastime. It has become a full-blown industry dominated by multinational gambling operators and mass media coverage of major sports and races.

Participants were recruited from two sub-samples: non-treatment seeking and treatment-seeking online gamblers. Recruiting these two samples enabled us to explore how perceived changes in online gambling were experienced by both groups. This included increased ease and speed of access, continued proliferation of advertisements and inducements, and the introduction of innovated betting products.

The Early 2015s

Online gambling is now a significant part of the overall betting industry. The most popular online games include poker, sports and eSports.

Despite the rise of mobile devices, most online gamblers still access their accounts from their home. Nevertheless, the incidence of gambling outside the home has increased.

Those with a high school education or a bachelor’s degree are more likely to gamble online. Similarly, those who participate in video gaming and those with video game problems are more likely to engage in online gambling.

The Early 2016s

Most online gamblers still gambled primarily at home, although this number was significantly lower than in previous years. Interestingly, smart TVs remain a niche way to access online gambling sites.

Low-risk, moderate-risk, and problem gamblers had a higher likelihood of gambling online than nonproblem gamblers (controlling for number of games gambled). Identifying and acting on early risk indicators may reduce gambling-related harms.

The Early 2017s

Online gambling continues to grow in popularity. Smart TVs are a new access point for online gambling, with usage increasing among young people between 2019 and 2020.

However, higher-risk online gamblers disproportionately reported negative impacts from recent changes that have exacerbated harmful gambling behaviours. These include easier and faster access, continued proliferation of advertising and inducements, and numerous innovated betting types.

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Author: Jonathan Diaz