The victory of Chris Moneymaker in the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event is seen by many as the spark that triggered what became the explosion of internet gaming.
Having played a qualifier on an internet poker site for $40, Moneymaker went on to win the competition, taking home several million dollars in return. From that point poker, a game that until then had been almost exclusively casino-based, became something that not only could you play for fun on the computer in the privacy of your own home, but make a lot of money from.
So arrived the internet poker age, and it wasn’t long before providers such as www.ladbrokes.com realised that if punters wanted to play poker on their home computers, they probably wanted to play casino games too, and bet on sports. The European internet gambling market, that comprises poker, casino games, sports-betting and games such as the lottery and bingo, grew from revenue of slightly more than EUR1billion in 2002, to nearly EUR4billion by 2006, and by 2012 it was nudging EUR12billion, according to figures provided by Arthur D Little, a technology and strategy innovation management consultancy.
A huge part of this continued year-on-year growth is the industry’s ability to adapt to the latest technological innovations: providers such as Ladbrokes have realised that the improved layout and usability of the latest generation of smartphones provide a perfect platform from which to play poker, casino games and place sports bets while on the move, and have provided free apps so that their customers never have to miss the action simply because they weren’t at home with their computer.
As the world becomes ever more time-pressured, the instant availability of the services of providers like Ladbrokes is a smart move, and the continuing growth of the industry as a whole seems to prove this.