How Casinos Have Changed Over the Last Century

by Tim | May 24, 2022

How Casinos Have Changed Over the Last Century

The very first casino that was officially recognised is the Casino De Venezia in Venice, Italy. It was originally part of the Theatre Saint Moses, which had a special wing where patrons could gamble during stage intermissions. The wing was so popular that it was made a permanent feature and the casino officially opened its doors in 1638.

Now, many things have stayed the same, such as the excitement around playing and some of the original games are still around today. However, casinos and the gambling industry have gone through unprecedented changes over the last century and today, casinos are hardly recognisable when compared to their predecessors.

Technology has created a massive casino evolution and you can now choose from thousands of online casino slots, casino table games or other online casino games, which weren’t around even a few decades ago.

In this blog post, we are going to look at the areas that have undergone significant changes in the last century in the casino industry.

The areas that have evolved the most over the years

Of course, every industry has evolved over the last century, however, casinos have gone through an entire revolution. Let’s take a look at the areas that have seen the biggest changes.

The games themselves

Side view of a slot machine on a casino floor.

Poker, blackjack and other card games were the staple for almost every casino in the world and were undoubtedly the most popular. However, in 1894, the very first slot machine was introduced and this had a massive impact on the casino industry. It took a good amount of time before slot machines really took off, however, but this was because it took a while for them to be mass-produced to keep up with demand. They really shot to stardom in the mid-1900s though, once they were able to be more widely distributed.

Slots machines proved incredibly popular not just for players, but they were a big hit with casinos themselves. Why? Simply put, casinos could make more money in a shorter time frame. Floors used to be filled with tables for card games, which were bulky and took up a lot of space. Not to mention the fact that it takes a lot longer to play a round of poker than it does to spin the slot machines.

In slot machines, casinos had games that took up less space, so more could be fit onto the floor and they had a ridiculously high volume of spins in which to make money. For example, a player could spin a slot machine 30 times in the time it takes to play three hands of poker.

Modern brick-and-mortar and online casinos have more slot games than anything else and as a business, this makes complete sense for the casinos themselves.


Today, you can simply walk into a casino or open your phone and play any game that you want to (given you’re over the age of 18). It hasn’t always been so easy to place a wager, however.

The UK has a rather confusing history when it comes to the legality of gambling and it’s always been a rather acceptable part of the culture, despite the fact that much of the time it’s not been technically legal.

Gambling was first declared illegal in 1541, when the government issued an act that prohibited all forms of gambling throughout the country. Those in power at the time believed that gambling interfered with men’s military training. There were dozens of different changes in the laws around gambling between 1541 and the 20th century.

The biggest changes to note in the gambling industry in the UK happened in 2005, when the Gambling Act of 2005 made on-site and remote gambling and betting legal. This was put in place to help prevent underground gambling from becoming a playground for criminals. It also sought to ensure that gambling was conducted fairly and wasn’t exploiting vulnerable persons. The Gambling Act of 2005 also allowed for gambling advertisements and you’ll now see gambling ads during football matches and so on.

The rise of online casinos

A man playing slots on a smartphone.

Of course, the biggest change that has happened in casinos is the rise of casinos online. The very first online casino opened in 1996, but very few people had access to the internet to be able to play the small number of games on offer. It was rather basic and rudimentary, but it’s the moment that changed casinos irrevocably.

Fast forward a decade and online casinos were exploding in popularity. The accessibility of these new casinos attracted massive numbers of players. In 2019, the global online casino industry was worth £48.35 billion and this is expected to increase to £76.27 billion by 2023.

Rapidly improving technology meant that even online casinos changed massively in just a short period of time. By 2007, mobile technology made it possible for users over the age of 18 to play their favourite casino games from their smartphones and this increase in accessibility and convenience has dramatically increased user numbers. In 2019, over 50% of online players were gambling on their mobile devices and this will only continue to increase with the ever-evolving mobile technology industry.

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