The iGaming industry has changed a lot since its humble beginnings in the middle 1990s. While the first online gambling site became operational in 1994, the iGaming term was coined a couple of years later or more specifically in the early years of the 2000s.
A couple of years after the very first online casinos started operating, the popularity of online gaming started to rise and the iGaming term was coined. The term may sound a bit confusing especially if you are new to the industry.
In the simplest terms, it refers to every Internet gambling activity. So, iGaming encompasses online casino gaming activities as well as online sports betting and every other gambling activity that takes place on the Internet. Internet gambling refers to playing online games that require making a deposit to be able to win real monetary prizes.
Internet gambling encompasses games whose outcome is always determined by chance. This means that online games that do not require making real deposits and that do deliver real monetary prizes do not fall into this category.
Social gaming for instance is not considered iGaming or Internet gambling. Most social casino games do require purchases in-apps but real money bets are not required. So, what makes Internet gambling or iGaming different from doing the same in brick and mortart casinos?
The biggest difference is that iGaming activities are always tech-dependent. All iGaming takes place at virtual, online establishments you visit using your gaming device. On the other hand, traditional casino games are played in land-based establishments.
It also should be noted that gaming and gambling are two different industries. While gambling encompasses casino games, sports betting, lotteries, poker, and bingo, gaming revolves around playing video games. This leads us to the history of the former.
To understand how mobile payment options positively affected the iGaming market, we have to go back in time and explore when and how everything started.
How Online Casinos Started?
The Internet was born in 1993 but it was publicly accessible until April of 1993. The Internet invention has had an amazing impact on various industries, especially on the gambling industry. While such activities were enjoyed centuries before the Internet was born, the rise of the internet completely revolutionized the industry.
When discussing the humble beginnings of online casinos, we have to mention the Gaming Club which is the very first iGaming venue to become operational.
One year after the Internet was finally made publicly accessible, the Caribbean nation Antigua and Barbuda decided to pass the Free Trade and Processing Act. Antigua and Barbuda was the very first country in the world to grant remote gaming licenses to online casinos.
Around the same time, Microgaming released its iGaming software that would power the very first casinos that started operating in the middle 1990s.
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission emerged on the scene in 1996. It was and still is responsible for regulating various forms of online casinos in Canada or more specifically in the Mohawk Territory Kahnawake. In 1996, the Intercasino gaming venue opened its virtual doors.
Two years later, Microgaming released its iconic Cash Splash jackpot slot, and several months later, the Planetpoker poker room became operational. By 1999, over seven hundred online casino and betting venues were operating in the world.
Around the same time, multiplayer iGaming platforms also emerged on the scene. In the early days of the 2000s, Gibraltar, Alderney, and the Isle of Man welcomed new exciting opportunities. Back in the day, around eight million people engaged in online casino games and sports betting regularly.
In May of 2000, the legislators in Australia outlawed online casino games and betting by passing the Interactive Gambling Act. Today, Australians get to play on offshore sites. In the United States, the UIGEA was passed back in 2006. The UIGEA prohibited all forms of online wagering.
Fast forward to 2010, portable devices made an amazing impact on the global iGaming industry and the same can be said for mobile gaming payment options. Over eight countries in the world have already legalized some or all forms of gambling including several African countries such as Kenya. If you want to learn more about the local niche market this source outlines the best mobile casinos available in Kenya.
The Rise of Mobile Gambling
Even though mobile casinos were popularized in the 2010s, the very first mobile online casino platform was introduced in 2005 or a couple of months after the very first iPhone was released.
The very first mobile casino apps were introduced for the first generation of WAP Nokia mobile devices. WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) allowed online casinos to receive payments by WAP Push or SMS. However, at the time mobile players could not place real money bets using their mobile devices.
The launch of Android and iOS on mobile back in 2007 paved the way for modern online casinos. The launch of Google Play back in 2009 and App Sore back in 2008 revolutionized the mobile gaming market completely.
Finally, online casino operators were able to receive payments from mobile gamers without dealing with different mobile network operators and phone manufacturers. Shortly after, mobile gambling sites completely flooded the iGaming scene.
According to this report on the global gaming market, the industry is expected to reach a staggering value of $153 billion in six years from now. As of 2021, mobile gambling markets represent over forty-five percent of the global market.
When discussing the tremendous rise of mobile gambling, mobile payment options most certainly made mobile gaming accessible to a much wider audience. Some of the most used payment options by mobile gamblers include PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, and Zimpler.
Accessible on a whole range of modern Android and iOS devices, mobile payments made mobile games more popular than ever before and it is estimated that more online gamblers will turn to mobile gambling in the years to come due to greater convenience.
One-click mobile payments are also becoming increasingly popular and more one-click mobile payments will be introduced in the years to come.
Thanks to emerging technologies, mobile payment solutions are deemed to become even more secure and safe. As new contactless and mobile payments solutions appear in the industry, players can expect to be offered safer and of course, more convenient ways to fund their online accounts at gambling sites and cash out their winnings.
With more mobile payment options appearing, the mobile casino industry is expected to grow even. The bottom line, convenient, safe, and secure mobile payment services are most certainly shaping the future of the global iGaming industry.