It is hard to believe, but it is recent that online slots exist. Its evolution is similar to that of the internet as gambling operators were swift to take advantage of digitalization. In just over two decades, online gambling has become the most popular forms of recreational activity in the world. At the heart of that growth is the humble slot, which has seen huge upgrade. Slots are huge now with thousands of options available – and growing rapidly everyday. So how did it grow, and what does the future bring? Let’s take a look at the heady evolution of online slots.
The Birth of Online Slots
The first free online slots started to appear at the same time the first online casinos appeared. Who exactly launched the first online casino is a questionable topic and will rage until the end of time. But, in 1994 when gaming operators obtained licenses to begin operating online, and the revolution started. One of the first was the Gaming Club operated by Microgaming – one of the oldest developers of online slots. As you would imagine, online slots at this stage were very simple, featuring mainly fruit theme in basic graphics and sounds. The earliest version has been light on features with only three reels, one payline, stake and a spin button.
The gaming public developed receptive to this new form of online gaming, and other developers jumped on board. Playtech was one of the first on the scene to upgrade their products. What gamblers quickly recognized was that online slots had a much better RTP than their land-based version and made the switch in droves. Still, in early days, the burgeoning technology limited the development of online slots. Limited use of the internet and the slow speed of connection made them inconvenient for many to wager. Although everything has seriously changed with the launch of broadband which allowed players to load up casino websites and played slots at speeds no one would have dreamed of before. This drove the online gambling development exponentially and attracted the attention of more developers to jump onboard.