Although online casinos have only been around for a couple decades, land-based casinos and gambling have been part of the world’s culture for centuries. Enjoying the suspense of waging against chance is a core part of being human. Today we cover the timeline of casinos, exploring how they evolved from basic gambling games into the stunning virtual titles we play today.
Making History – The Origin Of The Land-Based Casino
Betting and gambling are such ancient pastimes it’s hard to pin down the actual origins of the art of wagering. However, we do know of the oldest known land-based casino. The first casino built was the Il Ridotto, established in 1638 in Venice. It was a wing of the Palazzo Dandolo, located by the church of San Moisè. Venice city leaders wanted the casino built. They asked to convert the wing into a government-owned gambling house, which became the first public, legal casino.
Games they played back then bore some similarity to their modern versions. Popular games were roulette, blackjack, keno, and dice. These early games were innovative and exciting, gathering people from all over to bet, cheer, sweat, and drink as they flirted with Lady Luck.
The first modern-style casino opened up in 1856 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Gambling was then legalized in Nevada, United States, in 1931, leading to an outcropping of the first casinos in that region. Today, top countries with land-based casinos are led by the United States, Canada, Mexico and France.
Online Casinos Raise The Ante For Gambling
With the growing interest of land-based casinos alongside the advancement of computers throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, it was inevitable that the two would eventually converge. In 1994, the concept of the online casino was set free. Antigua and Barbuda passed the Free Trade and Processing Act in 1994, giving the Caribbean nation the ability to grant licenses to companies who wanted to establish online casinos. And then, like a perfect storm, a software company called Microgaming was also founded in 1994.
Microgaming was a pioneering software company that helped create The Gaming Club, the world’s first functional online casino. The Gaming Club remains an extremely popular online casino, making people millions for 25 years. Microgaming also created the first online progressive slot game called “Cash Splash.” This slot game changed everything, making it possible for people to win huge amounts of cash without ever leaving their homes.
Although it’s tough to predict how many people will walk away as big winners from online casino games, many of the progressive jackpots leave incredible opportunities for those willing to spin the reels. The world record for online slot machine wins at this point goes to a Finnish man who placed a simple 25-cent bet in January 20, 2013. He played Mega Fortune on the Scandinavian online casino PAF and won €17,861,800, which is roughly $24 million.
New Zealand’s Role In Gambling
New Zealand has its own history of gambling. The first land-based casino was opened in 1994 in Christchurch. Five others exist in Dunedin, Auckland, Hamilton, and Queenstown. This country also shares in the fervour of online casinos. Top online casinos popular among New Zealand gamblers include Spin Casino, JackpotCity, Mr. Play, and Royal Vegas.
Progressive online pokies are also popular in New Zealand. In fact, one of the biggest jackpot winners of Mega Moolah was a kiwi. In 2013, a New Zealander won $943,971 by playing this classic slot at Royal Vegas. This player was the first major jackpot winner at Royal Vegas’ site.
The Future Of Online Gambling
Just as digital technology is continually upgrading and improving every day, so is the online casino world. As software companies continue to enhance effects and graphics, two main future gaming concepts are augmented and virtual reality. We see early augmented reality already in the form of engaging graphics and gameplay. You can play with other members online and meet live dealers, giving you a 360-degree experience. Virtual reality was introduced to the online casino world in 2015, via SlotsMillion. Slated to make more appearances over time, this type of technology makes you feel like you have set foot in a real casino, as you interact with real-time graphics and hear stunningly realistic sounds. Before you know it, walking into a land-based casino will seem very last century.