The Growing Popularity of Online Gambling
There is no doubt that online gambling is something that has become very popular all around the world in recent times, but this was not always the case. The first ever proper gambling software was developed by Microgaming in 1994 but there was an issue with it. It was no secure and money could not be transferred through it safely. This was corrected by a company called CryptoLogic and the first online casino was born.
Initially the growth of the online gaming industry was very slow. After the first site came out in 1994 there were only 15 sites offering online gaming by 1996. This soon changed and the growth started to pick up speed and by 1997 there were 200 websites. According to findings that were published in 1998 by Frost and Sullivan the total revenue for the online gaming industry in 1998 was over $830 million. In 2001 an estimate was made that 8 million people had participated in online gaming of some form. By 2005 the total revenue taken in by the online gaming industry had topped $15.2 billion.
In 1999 the first problems with online gaming started to show in the US Senate when the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act was proposed. The bill was overturned on this occasion but the trouble for the industry in the US continued. However, the online gaming industry was not deterred by this and continued to grow at rapid rates.
The online gaming industry is worth about $35 billion as the time of writing and is available as a fully legal pastime in 85 countries around the world. The US is currently not one of these countries but it is slowly coming round having legalised online gaming in Nevada and New Jersey. Some sources estimate that despite that legal stance of the US on online gaming, Americans still contribute $4 Billion to the online gaming economy every year. This is a sign of just how popular online gaming is in the US and around the world.
Another strong signal for the popularity of online gaming can be drawn from figures released by Ofcom regarding the UK television advertising pertaining to online gaming. According to the figures released the number of advertisements about online gaming had rising from 152,000 in 2006 to 1.39 million in 2012.
All of these are strong indications for just how rapidly the online gaming industry is growing in terms of financial size as well as public popularity. The growth shows no sign of slowing down and it is predicated that the annual growth of 18% will continue into the future and may accelerate depending on the state of the legality of online gaming in the US.