The internet has created many success stories in the relatively short time it has been with us. Successes that have changed everything from the way that we shop to how we find play games online.

But one of the biggest successes of all has surely been the inexorable rise of internet gambling in general and the number of people playing at an online casino in particular. This has changed forever the way that many people play games like roulette and blackjack, while also becoming a multi-billion-dollar industry in the process.

Increased access for all

It stands to reason that the easier it is for people to access online casinos, the more will take advantage of the fact. With more and more of us being able to access the internet, not just via PCs, but through smartphones and tablets too, this is why player numbers continue to steadily rise.

The casino operators have been quick to react to this, optimizing games to play on multiple different platforms and screen sizes.

They have also been assisted in this by the onward march of technology. As devices have become more and more sophisticated, it has allowed the casinos to offer more complex games and different ways to play them.

A prime example has been the arrival of the live casino. In this, games like roulette, blackjack and baccarat can be streamed live from a studio set up to look like a casino direct to players’ devices. The games are run by real online dealers who can even communicate with the players themselves to create an even more realistic experience.

The range of games

A standard bricks-and-mortar casino has one limitation that it just can’t overcome – the space that is available for the slots and gaming tables.

Its online equivalent doesn’t face this issue. This means that it can offer an almost infinite choice of games.

So you will generally find a huge number of different varieties of roulette, blackjack and baccarat games on offer. Some are designed to be played particularly quickly, others are for players looking for either very high or very low stakes games.

Then there are the slots. These have always been a big favourite with players ever since they were first invented back in the late 19th century. Today’s games are more sophisticated than ever and come with countless different themes.

The online casino can host hundreds of different slot games. And, unlike in a physical casino, there’s never a need to wait until the one you want to play becomes available.

Promotions players just can’t ignore

Slot games also have a very important role to play in the promotions that many online casinos rely on to attract new players. That’s because one of the most commonly-used incentives used is a set number of free spins on these games for anyone signing up to play.

Often these are also accompanied by the offer to match initial stake money up to a set limit. For example, if you were to pay an initial $100 into your online casino account, the site would boost it to $200.

Some even offer new players a completely free bonus, although these generally also come with some conditions that need to be met if it’s going to be claimed.

Many ways to pay

It’s a well-established business fact that the more frictionless online payment can be made to be, the more people will pay.

So today’s online casinos offer a wide range of options for players from paying directly from bank accounts to using wallets like Neteller, Skrill and PayPal. Some are now also offering the option to pay in currencies like Bitcoin. Although, admittedly, these are very much in the minority.

The fact that pay-outs from online casinos are also comparatively fast also helps to fuel their popularity.

The changing face of gambling in the US

Looking to the near future, many eyes are on the US as a potentially huge new opportunity for online casinos.

Where once gambling was restricted to places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City, there has been a shift over the last few years.

The catalyst was the Supreme Court ruling in 2018 making sports betting legal in any States that wanted to allow it. Many have taken up this option with Maryland soon to introduce mobile gambling, hopefully in time for the upcoming NFL season.

This greater liberalism towards gambling is having a knock-on effect on the online casino sector. Some states have already legalized it, others are thought to be considering it. US gaming operators are also looking to buy shares or take over UK-based online casino companies to benefit from their experience and expertise.

So predictions are that the US will become the next big growth area for the online casino sector.

And, if this does come to pass, then the size of the industry could outstrip even the most optimistic predictions of business observers. And many of the biggest operators will be set to become even bigger still.

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