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How Technology Has Influenced the Gambling and Casino Industry

As the mobile gambling industry is said to be worth $100bn at the end of 2017, we take a look at how the gambling industry has grown and the part technology has played in the development of the betting industry.

Gambling is the process of playing a game for money, and typically involves placing bets or playing the odds in the hope of winning. Gambling is still incredibly popular due to the positive feelings or adrenaline rush gained from taking a risk – and this allure hasn’t changed since its invention. Despite the changes in the industry from the rise of technology, gambling and betting has continued to be a popular pastime and hobby.

From dice rolling and playing cards in 100 A.D. to a city of casinos and unmanned betting shops withtouch screen kiosks in the 21st century, it is evident that technology has changed the way people play.  Dissecting the history of gambling and the platforms that support it provides insight into how and why technology has influenced this activity…

Timeline of Gambling as an Industry

[1790’s] A man named Harry Ogden became the first person to make a profit from bookmaking. He had a view of the winners by operating from Newmarket Heath and studied the field, laying odds on each horse rather than two propositions.

[1845] All types of gambling became constrained to the racetrack due to a law that restricted public games of cards with money at stake. This spurred the ‘brick and mortar’ bookies to open up the market to other sports instead of just the races. Bookmakers used a simple pen and paper, frequenting markets or backstreets before moving into shops.

[1961] Betting shops were legalized in May and a staggering 10,000 shops opened within the first 6 months. The betting shop would contain a bookie behind the counter studying the pages and a ‘board-man’ who marked up results and prices for races that came from information transmitted through a wire service from Extel and vocalized by the blower.

[1986] The technology in betting stores evolved when further gambling legislation allowed the shops to provide hot drinks and televisions to show the races. ‘Fruit machines’ or fixed-odds betting terminals and computer generated racing courses were also added.

[1998] By the time the internet was in full swing, bookmaking firms realized the potential of online betting. Betting exchanges like Betfair and Betdaq opened and the launch of online bingo and poker sites began.

[2012] Revenue from online gambling was estimated at $4 billion – an 80% increase from 2008

[2015] At the end of the year the online gambling industry was estimated to be worth $41.4bn.

How have mobiles & apps changed the face of betting

The internet and mobile phones have changed the face of many industries, from shopping to restaurants, it’s rare that you will discover a business without a digital footprint. The same can be said for the gambling industry. Mobile gaming rose by 75% in 2012, and was predicted to increase an additional 84% between 2013 and 2015 with mobile gambling more than doubling in 2014 alone.

Now, the amount of bets placed on mobile devices is said to hit $100bn, with 164 million people using mobile devices to visit a mobile casino, place a bet or purchase a lottery ticket. By 2018 the mobile gambling industry is set to take 40% of the total online gambling market. This growth has proven the vitality of mobile apps for the betting industry, but with so many customers being able to bet from the comfort of their own homes, how do bookmakers ensure that their shops are still relevant?

Technology and the betting shop

The difficulty for traditional betting shops on the high street is the challenge of continuing to attract customers into their shops, due to competition from mobile apps that users can use in their own home or on the go. Apps and technology are therefore increasingly being incorporated into betting shops using touch screen betting kiosks so that gamblers can enjoy socializing whilst benefitting from the convenience of technology.

Bookmakers provide several key things that betting at home can not. Betting online is limited to card use only, a system that can sometimes lead to fear of overspending or identity issues – instore, cash is accepted and therefore the clientele can limit their spending while knowing that their activities aren’t being recorded. There is also the social aspect to betting, which online chat rooms on betting sites cannot replace. From the bookies to customers, the community feeling of the bookmakers creates an atmosphere that cannot be experienced through a mobile phone screen at home.

With the adoption of tablet kiosks within bookmakers, the instore experience brings the usability of the mobile apps with the sociability of the bookmaker. With integrated devices from printing tickets, cash acceptors, to scanning loyalty cards, tablet kiosks provide the usability of the mobile apps with the functionality of the integrated devices.

How to meet the growing mobile gambling demand

It is evident that technology has influenced gambling by increasing convenience for mobile customers so that gambling is accessible at all times. This expectation from customers validates the need for betting shops to factor mobile gambling into their shops now. Casino betting kiosks are a secure, user friendly and flexible option for betting shops and casinos to accelerate their offering to customers. Digital betting kiosks are ideal for the casino and gambling industry with customizable options available – a receipt printer or cash drawer can be installed securely for example.

imageHOLDERS custom betting kiosk was recently acquired by Best Gaming Technology for installation in 200 Coral betting shops nationwide, with potential for further deployment in the future. The gambling kiosk consists of a Shell+ 15 tablet kiosk encasing a Flytech touchscreen tablet and barcode scanner with an under counter unit housing contactless card reader, coin acceptor and receipt printer.

The tablet kiosk can become a multi-platform solution for gaming, betting and paying with integrated devices. The customer can scan their ID upon entry to the casino or betting shop, or have their photo taken for access. Integrated cash acceptors can allow for the customer to easily place bets on the interactive tablet enclosure, before passing the time prior to the race by playing one of the many different games available on the tablet. A printer can then provide a receipt to the customer on completion to cash in at the desk.  provide a unique solution to the gaming industry, enabling an interactive immersive experience for all customers.

How imageHOLDERS can help

imageHOLDERS can design and manufacture secure touch screen betting kiosks that are customizable for individual tablets, with integrated devices such as a collection pot for coupons, a receipt printer, or cash drawer. Each touch screen betting kiosk can be designed bespoke to your individual needs using our Integrator Pro tablet enclosure.

For more information on our fully integrated touch screen betting kiosks, please get in touch with the imageHOLDERS team today via email at [email protected] or call 01202 892 863 (UK) or +1 877 450 2172 (US).