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How Online Gaming Became a Billion Dollar Empire
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How Online Gaming Became a Billion Dollar Empire 

Of course, we all know that all mighty oaks start out life as little acorns and for Canadian iGaming to evolve into the behemoth it is today it needed the help of technology. When online betting first came into being the technology powering the sites was relatively rudimentary.

With operators and software providers needing to perfect their products before they focused on adding the bells and whistles you’ll see online today, the gaming options powered by software providers such as Microgaming (the creators of the first online gambling software) were fairly basic back in 1994.

Naturally, when you go online today and check out the games offers by leading operators like 32Red, you’ll see that things are far from rudimentary. Indeed, when you play blackjack online at 32Red today you’ll not only be able to play traditional variants of the game from as little as $0.10, you’ll be able to engage with live dealers though a combination of RFID technology and web streams.

Known technically as live dealer blackjack, these games are the latest trend in the iGaming world and one of the reasons 32Red, party casino, Bet Victor and many more online platforms are now raking in billions of dollars every year. Moreover, the advent of live dealer games is one that typifies the evolution of the industry and exemplifies how technology has allowed it to evolve.

The Early Years

The first casino software company to form was Microgaming in 1994 and it was quickly followed by Cryptologic in 1995. The early offerings by each of these providers were, as we’ve said, fairly basic. In fact, one of the defining features of this era was that players were isolated and couldn’t interact with other players.

However, by the time 1999 rolled around, multiplayer online gaming evolved and that meant players could chat to each other while they played. In fact, the advent of multiplayer gaming was very much influenced by the tech trend of chat rooms and instant messaging services such as MSN Messenger.

Indeed, MSN Messenger first came to life in 1999 as a rival to AOL’s Aim and it started a new wave of online communication. iGaming software companies such as Microgaming were keen to jump on this bandwagon and that eventually led to the release of communicative software that allowed people to be part of an online casino network.

The Boom Period

As the popularity of online gaming started to grow and a man from Texas called Chris Moneymaker showed that it was possible to win the biggest poker prize in the world ($2.5 million in 2003) after playing online, the industry boomed.

Traffic to the leading online sites began to soar and with players now demanding more features and gaming options, software companies and operators were forced to respond. Looking to the world of IT and technology again, one of the main changes to the way players were able to play online came courtesy of mobile technology.

Although the first “apps” were created in the nineties on PDAs and analogue mobile phones, the first real apps as we know them today went live in 2008. This release of games gave iGaming software developers the impetus to create their own mobile apps using CSS, JavaScript and HTML, software providers were able to move beyond web versions of their online sites and allow users to gamble on the go.

Eventually, as mobile technology improved and HTML5 was finally stabilised in 2014, the range of mobile casino games increased dramatically. Indeed, today if you were to download apps by 32Red, Titan or any other leading provider you’d have access to an array of games such as blackjack, roulette and slots and this is all thanks to the evolution of mobile technology and HTML5.

Modern iGaming Technology

The latest innovation in the iGaming world and one that’s been influenced by advances in RFID and streaming technology is live dealer casino games. When you visit any leading Canadian online casino today you’ll be able to ante-up against a real dealer using nothing more than your computer or mobile device.

By equipping each gaming table with RFID chips, operators are able to track and record every action on the table and then relay it to the system. This then allows the bets to be calculated and player’s accounts either credited or debited.

Additionally, to add another dimension to the game, HD web streams are used to create a sense of connection between the player and the dealer.

From an evolutionary perspective, these games have been directly influenced by streaming sites such as Twitch and, in more recent times, Periscope. By taking elements of the online and mobile streaming world and tailoring them towards their own needs, companies such as Evolution Gaming, have been able to create a more realistic experience for players.

Essentially, the evolution of the iGaming industry is one that’s been directly influenced by advances in the tech world. Because software providers have their finger on the pulse of what’s possible and popular, it means they’re able to continually engage new audiences.

By engaging new audiences and keeping things fresh, operators are able to continue raking in the money and that, in a nutshell, is why the online casino industry has become a billion dollar economy in Canada.

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