Gambling has been around almost as long time, which is no surprise given that it’s human nature to feel excited and take risks! The first evidence of gambling came from 2300 BC where tiles have been found that appear to have been used for a simple game of chance. Gambling was then mentioned in 500 BC by Sophocles showing that the Greeks and Romans gambled frequently.
In fact, gambling was forbidden in the ancient city of Rome but this only led to the origin of chips, which was a replacement for money but still signified value. The first casinos then opened in the 17th century, coincidentally around the same time that the game of “vingt-et-un” – a predecessor for what we now know as blackjack – emerged in France. From there gambling only grew, with roulette and poker in the early 19th century followed by the original slot machine in 1891. As for gambling in the US, it was banned for a period of time from 1910 until the Wall Street Crash and Great Depression brought back gambling to alleviate the difficulty of poverty for some. Gambling has been legal since then in the US; however, there has been controversies lately regarding the legality of online gambling.
How Technology Has Changed Gambling
Technology first changed gambling in 1976 with the origin of the video slot and then in 1994 with Microgaming developing a virtual casino in the early days of the internet. Over the last 20 years online gambling has grown with it now estimated to be worth over $50 billion. Companies like FanDuel and Draftkings make the news for Fantasy Football online betting, but rarely do the other forms of online gambling make it into the news. The convenience of being able to play poker or blackjack from your home rather than traveling to an actual casino has drawn in many customers, and these customers have stayed hooked throwing their money to these gambling technologies. Technology has helped gambling seem less about money and more about the entertainment. In the past, casinos tried to draw in high-net worth customers into casinos to spend substantial amounts of money, but now these companies can target anyone with a small amount of money. These companies that take advantage of online gambling may be making a lot of money, but the larger accessibility to gambling has negative effects as more and more people become addicted. The truth is that technology has made gambling much more accessible for both the better and the worse.
Future of Gambling with Technology
We are only looking at the beginning of technology and gambling, as the space is expected to only grow larger in the near future. Technologies we are seeing become popular now can have various uses in regards to gambling, and it is only a matter of time. For example, there are already virtual reality gambling games of all sorts that are giving a more realistic experience than simply playing on your phone or computer. However, the one benefit of this VR technology is that it is actually helping cure some gambling addictions in a safe, ethical environment. Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, are also beginning to impact gambling. Betting with fiat currencies is banned in many places, however, betting with cryptocurrencies is not; thus, people are able to use these digital stores of value to legally bet and avoid restrictions. The payouts through cryptocurrencies are also quicker with cheaper costs of transaction and no chargebacks meaning you maintain more of your original money. Besides changing the way people bet, technology is also changing the things you bet upon. One example is eSports which is a rapidly growing industry with $1.5 billion of revenue and 590 million fans expected by 2020 – in comparison, only 112 million people watched the Super Bowl in 2017. Thus, with the growing popularity of eSports comes also the rise of betting on these games with numerous apps and websites already offering options for betting. In all, technology is completely changing the way we gamble and the things we gamble on, and it will be interesting to see how bureaucracy regulates this gambling in the upcoming future.
Nate Trimmer is a Co-Founder of Omnibeat. As a social media enthusiast with a background in organizational development and computer technology, he strives to help businesses understand and embrace social media.
Omnibeat is the digital marketing outsource solution for growth in Los Alamitos and the greater Long Beach area.