How online slots revolutionized the casino industry
Slot machines were invented in the 1930s and since then they’ve led the way to further major progressions in the global gambling industry. In 1994 the basis for the online casino sector were set by a small team of investors backed by programmers and developers who had no idea about the revolution they were about to start.
Previous attempts at combining the machines with other technologies, such as video, failed, with Walt Fraley’s video Bell slot machine being rejected on all fronts in 1975. As with every new thing, the idea that the reels were not technically real spooked most gamblers. This happened regardless of the fact that the Nevada Gaming Industry had robustly tested the game.
Probably because the concept had already been introduced to the public, despite its failure, a new video draw poker machine was released by SIRCOMA in 1979. This time players embraced it and the new generation game was a success. Thus, the future of online gambling started with a video slot.
Following the video poker’s success the 1980s and 1990s saw a huge influx of players that were more comfortable in playing video slots and poker, rather than betting against live players at the felt table. Next, Australia developed the mini-game second screen feature with the release of the Three Bags Full video slot.
Another innovation was the possibility for multiple line payouts. With up to 1024 lines that could possibly pay out players started engaging with these types of games more and more. Graphic elements improved and this lead to the appearance of themed games which drew inspiration from popular movies, music or entertainment shows.
Even better yet slot games started giving out big jackpots and this was a big influencing factor for their rise in popularity. A random number generator was added in order to assure the complete unpredictability of each spin and to reassure players that the games were completely fair.
With the advent of the internet gambling exploded. Now players were able to play huge jackpots by wagering on machines linked in a network. Progressive jackpot slot machines became the new fad and people rushed to put in their coins for their chance at million dollar prizes.
In 1994, banking on the interest of 25 million internet users, Microgaming launched the first online casino the world had ever seen. People were just getting used to the idea of having a world wide web, and here comes Microgaming with a concept that no doubt caused some brain freezes worldwide.
Due to the huge and growing success that Microgaming faced, the company decides to exclusively focus on the game and platform development side of the business continuing to progress their offerings.
Needless to say the online gambling market took off and continues to grow today. Predictions expect that Europe will see gross revenue of €3.3 billion by 2018.
The best part about the internet gambling platforms is that the sky is the limit. If at first developers were simply converting real life machines into their online counterparts, these days the variety and excellent user experience of online gambling games is unbelievable.