If you live in a country where online casinos are allowed, you’ve surely noticed a big boost in their popularity. They are attracting more and more users with catchy ads and mutually beneficial partnerships. How did they reach this popularity? Read on for some information.

The beginnings of online casinos

With the invention of the internet, more and more aspects of life started moving online. However, it was only in 1994, after Antigua and Barbuda introduced and passed the Free Trade and Processing Act, that online casinos started popping up. This is because this island country started issuing licenses to operators that wished to offer gambling services via the internet.

The first company that established an online casino was Microgaming in 1995, and they are still running today. By 1997, the number of online casinos increased, with more than 200 operational websites. The global revenue from this activity reached a billion dollars in the same year.

The rise in popularity and COVID

Over the next two and a half decades, the industry developed further as more and more countries introduced laws that allow or at least don’t outright ban gambling. Furthermore, the ability to play from the comfort of one’s home is surely what contributed to this rise in popularity. People are simply not always in a situation where they have a nearby casino or they prefer making bets at a time when a casino is typically closed.

However, we cannot overlook the fact that the coronavirus pandemic contributed to the skyrocketing population of online casinos. The fact of the matter is that many land-based casinos were forced to shut down during the first few months of the pandemic, when social distancing measures were enforced, limiting the number of people indoors. Some were simply not able to recover from this loss of revenue and had to close their doors permanently. Others realized that the online approach is where the action is and swiftly turned their focus there. Those that managed to adjust to the circumstances were those that survived the most difficult period.

The reasons behind this popularity

In addition to avoiding the possibility of infection and getting a chance to play from the comfort of one’s home, there are some other factors that also contributed to the popularity of online casinos. Here are just some of them.

Greater selection of games

One benefit of online casinos is that they come with a huge variety of games. For example, there are simply more alternatives online than can be housed in a brick-and-mortar establishment. That means that everything from thousands of slots to different variations of poker, roulette, and blackjack is covered. Moreover, it also means that the chances of a player getting bored with a website are very low as there is always something new to discover. Additionally, many casinos even offer live dealer games, which resemble the atmosphere of a real casino.

The added benefit of bonuses

Besides games, players can also look forward to different kinds of bonuses as well. Bonuses are something that is typically not seen in land-based casinos. With that in mind, there are all sorts of deals and promotions that online operators offer. For one, there are welcome bonuses. These are used to attract new users, by matching and multiplying their first few deposits. Then, there are reload bonuses, which award players with some free money every time they put money into their account. Moreover, no-deposit bonuses don’t even require a deposit to get some free money and play a few games. Other promotions include loyalty rewards and cashback bonuses.

Plenty of payment methods

Payment options also play a role in the popularity of online casinos. Players are free to use debit and credit cards like Visa or MasterCard, bank transfers, and e-wallets like PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller, as well as cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are finding more and more uses, and there are even online casinos that accept only Bitcoin and other currencies of this kind, like Ethereum and Litecoin.

Colourful graphics and catchy sounds

The user experience contributes to the overall experience as well. That means that fun sounds and attractive graphics are a big part of what users are looking for as they want to have an overall pleasant experience and enjoy their time on a website.

Solid security

While licenses are important, website security is another thing that players should and do pay attention to. There are a few ways to check how secure a website is. For one, a user can check if the URL starts with HTTPS, which means that it uses SSL encryption. Another easy step is looking for a little padlock in the address bar, which also ensures that a player’s information, both personal and financial, is protected.

From humble beginnings, the online casino sector has managed to grow into an industry worth billions of dollars. Taking into account recent global events and ever-advancing technology, it is clear that online casinos are here to stay. Just how far it will evolve is anyone’s guess at this point, but all current indications are pointing towards a glitzy and glamorous future.