Gambling is one of the oldest sports and has been present since ancient times. However, instead of fading away, its charm continues to allure people of all ages. The gambling industry has witnessed a true revolution, from being just limited to cards to numerous digital games and from real-land gigantic casinos to online gambling sites.
Online Gambling Industry Worth Billions Of Dollars
The result of this revolution is the emergence of the online gambling industry, which is now worth billions of dollars. One significant factor that has made the online gambling industry as what we see today is the rising popularity of online poker games.
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Ever since it first arrived at the scene, the game has seen phenomenal growth, including turning critics into its loyal fan base. Initially, the traditionalists mocked the online version of the game, but later, they accepted it as the practice grounds for the stars of the future. Also, its audience is no more limited to outlaws; rather, it has got popular among young, college-educated and intelligent players.
The World Series of Poker (WSOP), 2003, was the triggering point for online poker, where Chris Moneymaker changed the way the world sees online poker players. Moneymaker, an accountant from Tennessee, was the first player to win the main event at the World Series of Poker after qualifying at an online poker site.
Moneymaker’s win made others realize that they too could make it big while playing online. On the other hand, casual players saw it as an opportunity to earn some money, or at least learn the game, in their free time. Such attitude resulted in a boom not just for the online poker games, but also for the online gambling industry as a whole.
Though government regulations in some countries slowed the growth, the industry continued to attract more and more players. Eventually, many countries who initially objected to the idea started seeing it as a potential revenue source.
For instance, in 2011, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) with its interpretation of the Interstate Wire Act of 1961, paved the way for the states to legalize online gambling, including online poker.
The real boom in online poker and the online gambling industry came after the rise of mobile gaming. With mobile gaming, an entirely new set of the audience got the chance to taste the poker games. All that a player had to do is install an app and give it a go. To the existing players also, it gave them the opportunity to play the game whenever they want.
Businesses also saw a massive opportunity, and soon the segment saw the emergence of quality and trusted sites such as 888poker that offers various poker games. Such sites ensured that the players get what they expect and return to the game whenever they want.
The Future Of The Industry
Now that we know that online poker and the online gambling industry are correlated to each other, let’s talk about what the future holds. Going ahead we don’t expect the industry even to slow down (at least in the immediate future). More US states are expected to legalize gambling in the near future.
Though a ban in China limits the growth potential, the phenomenal growth in other parts of the world, such as India, easily offsets it. Even in China, the popularity of poker as a social game has grown in recent factors.
Apart from the geographical extension, technological innovation is another reason why online poker (and online gambling) would continue to flourish in the years to come. One such technological change that I believe could attract (and retain) more and more people is the use of Virtual Reality (VR). Providers can use this technology to give players a near reality experience, which will be much more immersive than it is today.
Also, another thing that would help ensure the long-term survival of the segment is increasing transparency. Transparency here means not just for the players but for other stakeholders as well.