As we see increased technology and innovation like virtual and augmented reality, one of the industries that is greatly impacted is the online gambling market which will surpass $50 Billion in 2017.Going back in history, the online poker and gambling business has been around for quite a long time. As the story goes, Planet Poker was the first real money poker platform, and was first put online way back in 1998. But that was before the so-called poker “boom” that took place as a result of some combination of the movie Rounders, ESPN’s decision to broadcast live tournaments, and Chris Moneymaker winning a $2.5 million prize as an amateur player at the World Series Of Poker. These events in the late ’90s and early ’00s got people all over the world interested in online versions of the game, and in the potential for quick, lucrative earnings that was being demonstrated regularly by people in televised tournaments.
In the mid ’00s, online poker had become a massive business and questions of legality were starting to swirl. This was particularly true in the United States where a significant portion of the interest and player base resided. A man named Daniel Tzvetkoff was ideally positioned to help the business take off to new heights and seized the opportunity to partner his payment processing platform with the leading poker sites of the time. Poker would ultimately be outlawed in most of the United States anyway, but this maneuver helped the leading platforms to gain notoriety and worldwide influence. The stage was set for the industry to develop in a way that exceeded even the most devoted gamblers’ wildest dreams.
Fast-forward to today and online gambling is unrecognizable from what it was back in 1998 or the early ’00s. Most of the major poker platforms now offer other traditional casino games such as slots, roulette, or blackjack (not to mention various kinds of poker, rather than just Texas Hold’em). And some, more niche, casino experiences can be found as well. Real money online bingo has become very popular among some player bases and one well-known platform has begun offering free live bingo options with deposit bonuses and the like. Even the early online poker pioneers probably never would have predicted that enthusiastic gamers would be facing computer screens, depositing real money, and filling out free bingo cards while interacting with a community full of like-minded individuals. It’s a demonstration of just how complete the online gaming industry has become.
But if that industry looks like something bigger than we ever imagined, the finances behind it are even more amazing. It goes without saying that huge amounts of money are being poured into online gambling activities every day, all over the world. But according to a trusted statistical tracking site, the global online gambling market is set to surpass $50 billion in size next year. For 2016 the estimate is that the market is worth about $45.86 billion, but the final leap toward $50 billion will be made within a year, with the 2018 estimates topping $56 billion. These are pretty incredible numbers for a business with relatively humble beginnings. Then again, if things continue at their current pace the gaming industry will spring up surprises just like the Pokémon Go and what an industry to watch closely for developers, investors and even in the emerging economies around the world.