UK Online Casinos History – Online gambling has made spectacular strides during its short yet storied history. It’s pretty clear that we’ve come a long way from the unregulated underground internet casinos of the 1990s. Players can now enjoy hundreds of games at fully licensed casinos anywhere in UE. It’s hard not to be impressed by huge jackpots and technological innovations like live dealer games and mobile play. Yet these developments didn’t happen overnight. It’s worth getting to know the past, present, and future of internet casinos.
1994 – Microgaming claim the honour of releasing the world’s first online casino software. Developer Cryptologic joins the race a year later by introducing the first online security measures to protect financial transactions. Meanwhile, Antigua & Barbuda leads the race in forming a platform for online gaming sites to apply for the proper licenses.
1996 – InterCasino, the world’s first standalone casino sites opens its doors. Players in the United Kingdom and across the globe can place real-money wagers using their PC.
1998 – Microgaming releases Cash Splash, the world’s first online progressive jackpot slot machine. The game, which currently features 15 paylines, continues to be available today. The networked jackpot, which was available across multiple casino sites, set the framework for today’s multi-million pound jackpots. Microgaming also pushes ahead with software that can be downloaded to the desktop or played via the web browser.
2001 – Rival jurisdictions begin to issue gaming licenses to internet casino operators. British Crown territories Alderney, Isle of Man, and Gibraltar begin regulating gambling sites for global play. 3D slots begin to make an appearance.
2003 – Antigua begins what will be a decade-long dispute with the United States when the US begins prohibiting offshore internet gaming sites from providing services to US players.
2005 – The WTO (World Trade Organization) rules that the US has indeed violated international trade agreements. Antigua claims it has around $3.4 billion of losses per year, but is awarded just $21 million. Meanwhile, Microgaming releases Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, one of the first casino slots to be available on mobile phones.
The UK government passes the Gambling Act of 2005, which aims to modernise gaming in the United Kingdom, including online.
2006 – The US online casino and gambling market takes a hit when UIGEA is introduced. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act prohibits the processing of financial transactions from players to casinos and poker sites. As a result, many major players withdraw from the US market. Notably, however, many online casinos – licensed in places like Antigua and Costa Rica – continue to accept real-money wagers from US gamblers. While these changes don’t directly affect British players, it does cause global gambling experts to sound their alarms.
2007 – The first online ‘live’ casino games are offered from a small Dublin casino. ‘Real’ roulette and blackjack games are played by human croupiers using real tables and cards. The action is beamed via live stream to players’ desktops so they can then place bets on the action. Within six years every major online casino has their own live dealer games.
The UK Gambling Commission is formed. The government agency is now responsible for licensing and regulating gambling providers across the United Kingdom, including online casinos. Apple releases the iPhone, which will eventually transform the way UK players enjoy online casino games.
2009 – United Kingdom internet gambling revenue tops £1.6-billion annually.
2010 – Approximately 865 online casinos are in operation with many welcoming UK players. Apple releases the first iPad.
2012 – First social casino appears on Facebook, allowing players to enjoy games for play-money. Games allow players to make ‘in-app’ purchases to unlock levels and new games. A move into real-money casino games is less successful for those firms making the plunge.
2013 – Mobile gambling explodes, with an estimated £6.7 billion gambled on smartphones and tablets worldwide in 2013. By this time, social casinos reach a peak, with around £1 billion spent on social casino games.
Progressive jackpots continue to rise as more and more players take to online slots. NetEnt’s Mega Fortune game breaks the record for an online payout when an anonymous Finnish player wins €17,861,813.
2014 – The Gambling (Advertising and Licensing) Bill passes in the UK. Any company wanting to offer real-money casino games to UK customers must obtain a Gambling Commission license and face UK taxes on revenue, even if they are located outside the United Kingdom.
The same year, Antigua, who had pioneered gaming licensing ten years earlier, moves to seek millions of dollars from the US in compensation for what it sees as a breach of commitment to the members of the World Trade Organization.
2015 – The Apple Watch is launched as the first wearable Smartphone tech. Casino apps and games are slow to be released, but Microgaming lead the way with the announcement of an Apple Watch adaptation of their popular The Dark Knight slot.
The United Kingdom record for an online slots payout is broken when a British soldier takes down a progressive jackpot worth £13.2 million playing Mega Moolah.
2016 – Mega Moolah celebrates its ten-year anniversary and awards the largest mobile gaming jackpot in online casino history. A player wins the equivalent of £9.5-million off a £1.25 iPad wager. For the first time, more UK players now choose to play on a mobile or tablet than a laptop or desktop.
UK Online Casinos History – What The Future Holds
It’s hard to believe it’s just over 20 years since the first online games appeared. Casinos have risen from a few dozen to several thousand, while jackpots have exploded to seven figures. The industry as a whole is expected to quadruple over the next few years, helped by mobile and social casinos, but it’s pretty clear that internet gambling is only getting started.
You can expect more games that work on wearables, as well as fully immersive virtual reality gambling. No matter how you choose to play, these are sure to be exciting times for casino players across the United Kingdom.
SEO tips, Casino Website – As the owner of an online casino website, it’s your job to figure out how to market it so you can get new players and more exposure on a regular basis. Without a constant influx of players, your website will remain stagnant and you’ll have a hard time growing your site to the level you hope to achieve.
There are plenty of people researching online casinos on the Internet. Using search engine optimization to get your site in front of them is a great way to capture their attention. Combine that with great daily bonuses, promo codes, exciting events, and other awesome activities, you can use traffic from the search engines to take your online casino to the next level.
With that said, let’s take a look at some powerful tips to make it easier than ever to market your casino on the web. If you use these tips to your advantage, you’ll see your website traffic steadily grow as your player base and deposits expand.
SEO tips, Casino Website – Use Keyword Research to Find the Top Keywords before Writing Content
For some reason, casino owners love to start pumping out content day after day without actually performing keyword research. This is a huge mistake because researching your keywords is the best way to dominate the search engines and it’s the only way to find out what your potential players are looking up when they search for online casino type keyword phrases.
SEO Tips, Casino Website – Without knowing these exact terms, you will not know how to properly optimize your website. You will not know what keywords to add to your content, and ultimately this will make it a lot harder to get solid rankings in the search engines.
If you’re trying to promote Malta or UK online casinos, you’ll need to go to Google’s keyword planner and run a search on that keyword phrase. After you run this search, it will give you plenty of ideas for other top-notch casino keywords very similar to your starting point.
After you’ve gathered this information, you can begin writing content around it. This is the perfect way to attain search engine rankings for the best keyword phrases related to your online casino. Take advantage of this opportunity sooner rather than later.
According to a popular online casino promo codes website, building your content around the best keyword phrases in your niche is a great way to get more traffic to your site which will ultimately result in more deposits and players.
Onpage optimization (on-page SEO) refers to all measures that can be taken directly within the website in order to improve its position in the search rankings. Examples of this include measures to optimize the content or improve the meta description and title tags. Conversely, off-page SEO refers to links and other signals.
A search engine evaluates a website differently to a human visitor. A search engine can’t evaluate how nicely your website is designed, how well your content is written or how much value your products/services provide. It has to judge a website from a technical point of view.
On-site optimisation is the foundation on which the off-site optimisation process builds upon. Without it, off-site optimisation efforts can go largely to waste. The process is wide ranging, and will vary slightly from website to website, but these are some of the main factors that form the on-site optimisation process:
- Add keywords to urls, title tags, meta descriptions, header tags and alt tags.
- SEO Tips, Casino Website – Ensure each page has a unique and descriptive title and description.
- Assign existing, or create new, pages for each keyword.
- Improve content to match/better content on competitor websites.
- Assess existing and potential keyword targets.
- Remove, merge or add to pages that have little useful content on them.
- Check the site loads properly in different web browsers and screen resolutions.
- Analyse inbound link profile.
- Ensure call to actions are located in prominent positions.
- Link to important pages from the homepage and/or main navigation area.
- Improve the readability and formatting of written content.
- Check for and fix broken links.
- Add structured data mark-up code.
- Claim authorship of content.
- Fix duplicate content issues.
- Add in-content links where appropriate.
- Remove unnecessary outbound links.
- Create a user-friendly 404 error page.
- Assess and improve page loading times.
- Add social media sharing buttons.
- Create and submit an XML sitemap.
- Set-up Google Analytics and Search Console.
Some of these factors only ever need to be dealt with once, whereas others need to be regularly reviewed to see what further improvements can be made. Unless a professional SEO consultant has worked on your website, it’s highly unlikely that your website will be at all optimised for search engines, as on-site optimisation is something that web design companies rarely pay any attention to.
Perform Off Page Search Engine Optimization
SEO Tips, Casino Website – What is off page search engine optimization? Well, the main way to perform off page SEO is to build backlinks to your homepage and online content. When you create valuable content and share it on the web, other similar sites will naturally link back to yours and this will help improve your search engine rankings.
Instead of waiting for other websites to naturally link back to your site, you want to intentionally go out and start creating your own backlinks. These links are going to act as signals to Google which will help you improve in the search engine rankings.
More often than not, your rankings will improve even better if you get links from high domain authority sites. Plus, if these sites have thematic relevance in the online casinos niche, the links will be even more powerful and this will act as a major signal to Google to begin boosting your site in the search engine results.
According to a popular site that offers Virgin online casino codes, amidst other offerings, off page SEO and backlink building (link building) is the perfect way to get search engine traffic coming to your site.
Please use these SEO tips to effectively market your online casino website.