We can't think of our lives without the Internet anymore. Many of us are dependent on online services as a part of our daily lives. So, it's not a surprise that the World Wide Web has actually had a huge impact on numerous things - communication, shopping, how the business operates etc. Very same is with the gambling industry. Although very first thing that might cross your mind when somebody mentions the word "casino" is Las Vegas and dozens of its glamorous hotels full of slot machines, roulette and poker tables, things are now changing. Now we can find hundreds of gambling websites that offer online casino games, slot machine and poker games. You can feel like you are in one of the Las Vegas hotels without leaving your home. But if you are in Las Vegas here is a list of most popular Las Vegas casinos made by CNN.
From its modest start, online gambling has actually become a business worth billions of dollars every year. In 2013. online gambling market was worth 35.5 billion U.S. dollars and it is approximated to worth 45.86 billion U.S. dollars in 2016..
The EU gambling market is approximated at around EUR 84.9 billion and grows at an annual rate of around 3%. Online gambling is particularly popular with around 6.8 million customers in the EU. In 2012, online gambling services represented more than 12% of the EU's gambling market with annual revenues of over EUR 10 billion. Annual revenues in 2015 for online gambling are expected to increase to EUR 13 billion.
So, when did it all start? The best assumption is that it started to develop in 1994 when the island country of Antigua and Barbuda passed its Free Trade & Processing act so that licenses could be given to companies who wanted to offer online gambling services. Thanks to broadband connections, innovative software application developers which pioneered the development of online gambling, and the Free Trade and Processing Zone Act, online casinos made their way into the homes of countless online Players and have become a lifestyle now for millions of people.
So, as mentioned, online casinos where the very first form of online gambling to succeed. Microgaming and Cryptologic were one of the very first online gaming companies and they played a big part in the development of the technology needed to power the games and the financial systems needed to process client transactions.
At first, the number of available games was limited and the software application was not as functional. But, for that time, it was an outstanding technology. More and more companies got involved and the number of gambling websites grew. According to that, the market became very competitive. Progressive jackpots, themed slots, and multiplayer games were just a few of the important things that truly helped online casinos to grow in popularity. Also, huge bonuses for new clients became commonplace and numerous casinos introduced loyalty schemes for their regular clients..
In the beginning, players could actually watch live video streams of dealers and croupiers in real time. Today, numerous players much prefer to play the live games rather than the graphic based ones.
Today, there are almost 500 legalized online gambling websites, the majority of which are online casinos with the wide variety of games offered. This includes Baccarat, Craps, Roulette, Keno, Slots, Video Poker, misc. card games and so on. A new development in online casino gaming is that you can play your favorite games from your smart phone or tablet. This was huge shift from physical tables and slot machines.
A slot machine, also called fruit machine or poker machine (the one-armed bandit is another popular nickname), is a casino gambling machine with three or more reels which spin when a button is pushed. Slot machines are the most popular gambling method in casinos and constitute about 70 percent of the average US casino's income. By the end of the very first decade of the 21st century, more than 830,000 electronic gaming machines were running in the United States. Here is brief introduction to a long and colorful history behind them.
The very first mechanical slot machine was the Liberty Bell, created in 1895 by Charles Fey, car mechanic from San Francisco. The Liberty Bell slot machine had three spinning reels and this very first slot machine had 5 symbols which were diamonds, hearts, horseshoes, spades and the Liberty Bell, which is where the slot got its name. The machine pays off based on patterns of symbols visible on the front of the machine when it stops. A spin resulting in three Liberty Bells in a row gave the biggest reward, a grand total of fifty cents or 10 nickels (which was fantastic award for that time). The original Liberty Bell slot machine can still be seen be at the Liberty Belle Saloon & Restaurant in Reno, Nevada.
Charles Fey was also created a currency detector which is used to detect fake nickels or slugs from real nickels.
During the 1920s the machines were popular throughout much of the United States, particularly in resort areas, and they continued to be popular into the Great Depression years of the '30s..
The very first electromechanical slot machine called "Money Honey" was introduced 1963 by Bally Technologies Inc. Instead of entirely mechanical components, electrical components were also incorporated in to the design of the slot machine and this meant improved gameplay as well as allowing multi-coin bets which meant higher payouts.
The very first real video slot machine was developed in 1976 in Kearny Mesa, CA by the Las Vegas based Fortune Coin Co. This slot machine used a modified 19-inch (48 cm) Sony Trinitron color receiver for the display screen and logic boards for all slot machine functions..
Nowadays players are fortunate to play a variety of casino slots at online casinos. If you are interested in playing online you can find best slot machine games at NetBet which has more than 50 different versions of slots.
If you want to learn more about slot machine history you can read the book "Slot Machines: A pictorial history of the very first 100 years of the world's most popular coin-operated gaming device", which was written by Charles Fey's grandson Marshall Fey in 1989. You can buy it on Amazon.