Online casinos are now one of the biggest industries on the internet, with millions of players competing on the blackjack tables, roulette wheels and slot machines each day.
But the concept of the online casino is still relatively new. After all, the internet as we know it has only really been around for the past two decades.We have come a long way since the early days of the internet and the very first steps into online gambling.
Like all industries, the online casino world has slowly grown over the years and attracted plenty o attention along the way. Now, Unibet caters for 12 million customers around the world and many enjoy the thrills and spills available in the Unibet Casino.
This guide will take you through the history of online casinos, from their birth at the start of the millennium right the way to now. You will learn how online casinos first started, which are the biggest online casinos and who has won the most most from online casino gambling.
Online casinos — a brief history
Many people will have first encountered the internet around the years 1999 to 2001, when connectivity in Europe and North America began to really take off. But online casinos have been around much longer than that. The first online gambling platform was launched in the Caribbean in 1994, while Canada also witnessed its first online gambling venture two years later.
By 1997 there were over 200 gambling websites as online casino popularity continued to grow. But the major breakthrough came in 1999, when online poker rooms emerged and the the popularity of online gaming skyrocketed in the USA.
By the turn of the century, online casinos were opening up in Australia, the US and other westernised territories. Poker was thriving and benefitted from Texas Hold’em series being broadcast on television.
Improvements in technology and internet connectivity in the early 2000s meant even more people could play in online casinos. World online gambling revenue surpassed C$25billion in 2008, just as the invent of smartphones were hitting the market.
Indeed, smartphones have taken the world of online casino to a whole new level. Now players can bet in the casino wherever and whenever they like. The switch from browser-based games to speciality-designed apps has also greatly boosted gameplay. This is because apps are generally more reliable, can address bug fixes quickly and offer a smoother, less interrupted gameplay.
Unibet a pioneer in online casinos
Unibet was launched as an online casino in 1999 and within five years the company was offering website gambling in 12 different languages. As the company grew, so did our ambitions. We launched the Unibet Open poker tournament for players to compete in across Europe. This is now one of the biggest poker competitions in the world. We also launched four Unibet Apps, covering sportsbook, casino, poker and lottery. The apps have made the world of online gaming far more flexible for customers, who can now place bets where they want, when they want.
Games offered in the online casino
Here at Unibet we pride ourselves on offering a range of games available to players of all experiences in the online casino. Check out the games you can play on below…
Slots games and slot machines
Unibet’s online slot machines suite is one of the most extensive in the world. We work with numerous online slot developers to create the best and most interesting slots anywhere on the market. Our slot machines cover daily and progressive jackpots, while players can set their bet limits and spin at a rate that suits them. Unibet slots are available to play at all times of day and there is always the chance of a big win.
Poker is a cornerstone of Unibet’s online casino and a game that millions of players enjoy across the world. We offer various versions of poker in different formats, so there is always a game to suit you! The most popular poker game in the online casino is Texas Hold’em. This is because it is a straightforward game and one where there are lots of chances to bet and bluff your way to victory. But there are other poker games in the online casino suite too.
If you like Texas Hold’em then why not check out Omaha and test yourself on the more technical side of poker? You can also play Caribbean Stud Poker and Three Card Poker. Some of our poker tables are video games, while others offer a live dealer who you can interact with. This brings the real life feel of the casino hall to your phone or computer!
Is there anything more glamorous in the casino than the roulette table? Here at Unibet we offer various forms of roulette to suit every player. Whether it’s American or European roulette you’re into, there are numerous versions of each game to play. The beauty of roulette is that your bet could win you a lot of money at any time. It’s all about chance and keeping your fingers crossed. You can play simulated roulette games in the Unibet online casino, or compete on live tables with real hosts. If you want something in the middle of this, play on the quiet live tables where there is a real wheel spinning, but interactive online betting table.
Live Dealer Blackjack
This game is synonymous with casinos, which is why Unibet offers loads of online casino blackjack variants. The aim of the game is simple: beat the dealer and try to hit 21 with your cards. But the tactics are difficult and blackjack is always a game of nerve. We offer live blackjack in the online casino, as well as video blackjack. You can also play blackjack multi-hand, and blackjack 21+3 here at Unibet!
Side Bet City
Certainly one of the most unique games anywhere in the online casino world. Side Bet City takes the rules of poker and shakes them up! Bet on whether the seven dealt cards will create a strong poker hand or fail completely. This is a fast-paced game and one where poker players can use their knowledge of hand strengths to their advantage.
Dice is a less well-known game in the online casino but one that many players love to compete on. Here at Unibet we offer a number of dice games but the most popular is Lightning Dice. Here, you simply bet on what the total number will be from three rolled dice. The numbers range from 3 to 18 and there are varying odds depending on which number you bet on! The best thing about lightning dice is the electricity bolt can hit a number at any time, boosting its odds massively and potentially offering a mega payout.
This game is possibly the easiest online casino game to play anywhere in the world. A host will spin the money wheel and your task is to guess which segment will stop at the top. You can bet on the segments and also fun bonus rounds, such as the ones offered in Monopoly Money Wheel, where you could win a lot of extra cash!
Play the most technical version of online casino card games with us at Unibet. Baccarat is all about strong arithmetic as you try and get a hand that is closest to nine. We offer live and video baccarat to our players in the Unibet casino.
Online casino slots records
The big record payouts in the online casino world have all come on slot machines. This is actually not surprising, as progressive jackpots offer some of the biggest payouts anywhere in the world. A progressive jackpot is when the slot machine game takes a tiny percentage of your bet and adds it to the jackpot. If thousands of players compete on the machine, the progressive jackpot can grow into the millions of dollars.
The record online casino payout is C$27.8m, won by an anonymous gamer playing the Mega Moolah slots in October 2018. They won with a ¢75 bet after less than 50 spins. It is estimated their odds on winning the jackpot were 50,000,000/1.
Before that, the online casino slots record jackpot was claimed by a British man in October 2016. They also won on the Mega Moolah, this time with a 25p bet. Their C$26m win narrowly beat the previous victor — a Finnish man who won roughly the same amount playing Mega Fortune in 2013.
Play in the online casino
Now you know more about the online casino, it’s time to check out what Unibet has on offer in our Casino suite. You can explore the online casino without playing games, and on many games you can play for free in order to understand them more thoroughly.
Remember, always set a budget when playing in the online casino and never exceed that limit. You can read more about how to play specific online casino games in our guides section.