How online poker morphed into online casinos and went mainstream



In just a few short years, gambling online has gone from a niche activity to being something that anyone can get involved with and enjoy. The online casino experience now pretty much works in much the same way as the Las Vegas strip casinos. Just like Vegas, internet gambling sites are open for everyone over a certain age to come and play their favorite games around the clock.

So, how did we get here and what is the driving force behind the phenomenal success of the online casino industry today? In this article, we’re going to look back at the evolution of playing casino games online.

From specialist games to mainstream entertainment

Back in the late 1990s, a few clever souls saw the opportunity to take the fun of playing poker with others and create an online experience. The first online poker room was hosted by Planet Poker in 1998. The early poker sites were crude by today’s standards but allowed players to chat with each other and indulge in the high-stakes game that they love.

Very rapidly, playing poker online became big business with international tournaments offering up multimillion-dollar prizes. As technology improved, players were able to view a live stream of the action and chat with each other in real-time. It soon became a massive industry which was to pave the way for something even bigger.

Online casinos started to appear around the same time, but it was initially poker that was grabbing all the headlines. Despite an unexpected ban on online gambling in the U.S. in 2006, there was no stopping the rise of online casinos across the globe which continues to this day.

The success of online casino bonuses

As online casinos developed, they quickly realized what they needed to do to attract new players and retain existing ones. By giving out generous bonuses to players in the form of extra cash or free spins, they were able to tempt even more people to sign up and play.

In the early and relatively unregulated days of online gambling, casinos were free to offer anything they liked. However, since governments and licencing bodies have introduced stricter controls for gambling online, casinos have had to adapt their approach to what they can promote. That said, there’s still a lot on offer to new players, for a good example of this click here for the latest casino bonuses.

Poker takes a back seat

Although there are still plenty of dedicated online poker sites around, playing the popular card game is now just part of the mix at many online casinos. A lot of the larger casino sites will have a dedicated “live casino” lobby where players can take their pick from games which take place in real-time.

Streaming live from dedicated studios, professional dealers host a wide range of popular casino table games for players to get involved with. Anyone with an account at the casino can pull up a virtual stool and chat with the dealer whilst they enjoy a cheeky wager.

Poker is just one of these popular live casino games which comes in several flavors such as Texas Hold’em or Three Card Brag. The choice of poker games might vary slightly from one casino to the next, but the concept remains – to create an authentic brick-and-mortar casino for players online.

The most popular of any online casinos games today are video slots. Taking the basics of the fruit machine and running with it, slot games have long since replaced poker as the focus at most online casinos.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor