Since the inception of the first online casinos in the mid-1990s, the industry has grown exponentially into a multi-billion dollar market. In 2021 alone, the global online gambling industry generated revenues of over $92.9 billion. The popularity of online casinos is often attributed to factors like convenience, expanded gaming libraries, attractive bonuses, and improved responsible gambling measures. However, the foundation of the online casino business model and much of its success is built on the enduring popularity of classic GetSlots games that originated hundreds of years ago.
The Prevalence of Traditional Table Games at Online Casinos
A survey of popular online gambling sites showcases the prominent position still occupied by traditional table and card games. Of 10 leading online casinos based on global traffic statistics, all 10 feature online versions of games like poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, and baccarat. In fact, these games still occupy prime real estate on most sites’ home pages to attract and convert players. Their familiarity and inherent simplicity draw in casual gamers more easily compared to more complex modern slot machines.
Table 1. Percentage of traditional casino games on the 10 largest top online gambling platforms (by global traffic)
|Traditional Games Share
The Origins of Poker and How It Transformed Modern Casinos
One game that personifies the influence of traditional games on modern Mercy of the Gods Jackpot offerings is poker. With its roots tracing back to the 15th century, poker is representative of the enduringly popular card games that helped shape the very existence of casinos. Casual home games between friends grew into dedicated poker rooms that quickly became main draws at brick and mortar casinos. Following the ‘poker boom’ in the early 2000s driven by Chris Moneymaker’s WSOP win and hole-card cams, poker became America’s national card game.
During its peak around 2005, $82.7 billion was spent on poker games worldwide. By 2010, nearly every American casino earned a quarter of revenues from poker rooms alone. Today, online poker remains a top gambling vertical, bringing in $4.78 billion in worldwide revenue in 2021. This makes it second only to slots and unmatched as the top online casino card game. The phenomenon of poker provides a clear example of how traditional games of chance have indirectly fueled the growth of modern casinos and iGaming for centuries.
Blackjack – The Game That Launched the Modern Casino Industry
Another traditional casino game with an even deeper connection to modern casinos is blackjack. With its direct precursor vingt-et-un being played as early as the 17th century in French casinos, blackjack is considered by games historians to have ‘launched gambling as a legitimate recreational business’. At the turn of the 20th century in America, Nevada legalized gambling in 1931 and the first official Nevada casino opened the following year in the form of Bill Harrah’s Biltmore Saloon.
The game prominently featured? Blackjack – reflecting its enormous popularity. In 1956, blackjack directly enabled the rise of modern Las Vegas when the Bank of Las Vegas failed. However, a struggling businessman named Benny Binion acquired the failing bank’s building and transformed it into an instantly successful casino – thanks to its strong focus on blackjack. Some historians even argue that without the enduring appeal of blackjack through the centuries, ‘the Las Vegas Strip might never have developed.’ Decades later, with global revenues of $1.9 billion in 2021, blackjack still reigns among the top online casino card games – second only to poker. Once again, its legacy exemplifies how traditional games enabled and fuelled the growth of casinos – both in the past and present digital era.
Roulette – The Crown Jewel of Casino Games
Roulette’s unique blend of simplicity and elegance has earned it the apt moniker ‘crown jewel’ of casino games. Tracing its origins to European social gambling traditions in the 17th century, roulette quickly gained prestige in famous European casinos like Monte Carlo. When Nevada first legalized gambling, roulette wheels were also among the very first games people flocked to, thanks to cultural familiarity.
Today, in every major modern casino, the roulette wheel with its iconic red and black pockets still dominates center stage on the floor. In the 21st century transition to online gambling platforms, roulette has become the top classic casino game played for real money – generating a staggering $3.2 billion in global revenue in 2021 alone. Its intuitive rules that appeal to casual gamblers and frenetic pace suit perfectly the digital gaming experience for millions worldwide. Once again, roulette underlines how a centuries-old traditional game continues to be integral to modern casinos’ offerings and business.
The Enduring Appeal of Traditional Games in the Modern Online Casino Era
While one might assume that modern video slots with advanced graphics and gameplay would render traditional casino games obsolete, the opposite has clearly happened. The simplicity, social familiarity and inherent excitement of games like poker, blackjack and roulette has stood the test of time and directly fueled the growth of the modern casino industry as we know it. This influence continues till today, with these games commanding prime spots at online casinos and remaining consistent revenue generators worth billions.
So while visitors to brick and mortar casinos or gamblers checking out new online betting sites might be drawn by novelties, the traditional classics endure as the reliable backbone of the business. Hundreds of years since their origins and countless games developed since, poker, blackjack and roulette remain integral to casino offerings – offline or online. Their legacy is set to continue captivating fresh players for generations to come.