When we think of gambling, we think of slots, roulette, poker, and sitting around for hours trying to beat the house and all of this is extremely fun. The gambling industry evolved over time and has given us wonderful things such as being able to play the slots or any other gambling game all online; this is probably the biggest evolution. But gambling isn’t only a modern pastime; it’s been recorded that gambling started way back in the 1790s. And people have been playing dice and cards for much, much longer. Let’s take a deeper look at how gambling has changed over the years.
The first gambling interaction
Let’s take a look at bookmaking. In simple terms, a bookie is someone who accepts and pays off bets on sporting and other events at the agreed-upon odds. The world’s first bookie Harry Ogden was the first person to earn a profit from bookmaking. Harry would study the field then make his decision about the odds on each horse rather than just two propositions that were the standard up until this point. Eventually, the law would catch up to gambling, meaning that gambling was only reserved for the racetrack. At the time, public law did not allow any public games of cards where money was at stake. This is how bookies were invented. The original bookies were there to allow gambling on sports other than racing.
Now as with everything, legalizing gambling was going to take some time, and it wasn’t as simple as just making everything legal. It was the early 1960s when the first legal betting shops began emerging; however, Nevada had already legalized gambling in the 1930s. Within six months of legalization, a whopping 10,000 shops opened; for the time, that was huge. It’s long been said that without betting shops, gambling would not exist in the form, or even on the grand scale, that it’s currently on. Betting shops are also responsible for making gambling the mainstream pastime it is today. A bookie’s job back in the day was to stand behind a counter with a board man who handled marking up results and prices for races. But technology had advanced just 20 years later where we saw that shops were allowed to show races in store. In the 80s, stores also started including various slot machines with fixed-betting terminals and computer-generated racecourses.
As the 90s rolled around and the internet became a massive thing, bookies realized that they could be capitalizing on this and that online betting could be the next big thing. This move would prove genius as companies all over were opening their first online casinos, which largely only included games such as bingo and poker at the time. But we can’t have bookies in our homes when we play online, and this is what many people at the time recall as the one thing they miss. Bookies create an atmosphere and bring along a certain energy to traditional gambling, and, unfortunately, that can’t be found with online gambling. However, we should thank bookies for conceptualizing online gambling because it’s a booming industry.
Playing on your mobile device
We knew when gambling made the leap to mobile devices that it would completely transform the industry. And this is a wonderful thing. Changing the way we gamble and making it more convenient has also meant that the industry growth has been astronomical. In 2021, the commercial gambling industry made over $44 billion; that’s insane, so we can only imagine what the 2022 figure will hold. And it makes complete sense as people have taken to their mobile devices and are choosing online gambling over traditional for the ease of convenience. Accessibility is another factor in this. In the US, Las Vegas is the gambling capital, but it makes it difficult for someone living on the other side of the country to travel there for a few days of roulette fun. So, opting for the digital solution does make sense. And if history is anything to go by, convenience and comfort come first. But technology is leading the charge in what consumers want, such as including mobile casino kiosks in betting shops and casinos alike.