Gambling has been one of humankind's favourite pastimes since before written history. The earliest six-sided die date back to around 3000BC in Mesopotamia and were based on astragali, which was invented thousands of years before that. Gambling houses, lotto games and dominoes were popular in China in ancient times and some of the proceeds from the lotto were used to build public buildings.
It's not too much to say that when you login to play roulette, baccarat or any of the fantastic games we have on offer here at Bitcasino, you're taking part in a rich tradition that stretches across the world and back in time.
From its early beginnings, gambling has continued to develop, from Ancient Greece and Rome, through to the first known casino in Venice in Italy in 1638, and the 17th-century Persian game As-Nas, which evolved into that most iconic of card games, poker.
Fast-forward to the 21st century and the dawn of online casinos which allow players to participate wherever they are and whenever they want.
The online revolution
The rise of virtual gambling began when the first fully functioning gambling software was developed by an Isle of Man based software company called Microgaming. When combined with software developed with CryptoLogic, an online security company, it meant that safe internet transactions were now viable and online gambling was safe to proceed. In 1994, Antigua and Barbuda passed the Free Trade and Processing Act, which allowed licences to be granted to companies who wanted to open online casinos, and the revolution began.
In the late 1990’s, online gaming started to gather more fans with gambling websites increasing in number from 15 in 1996 to 200 in 1997 alone. It is estimated that online gambling revenues were more than $830 million in 1998. By 2001, the number of people who had taken part in online gambling had risen to eight million, and it continues to grow today, with players now able to play via computers and online devices too, opening up the market even more.
Now we're in the midst of anothe revolution. With the arrival of bitcoin and a plethora of international cryptocurrencies that are all secured by blockchain technology, there are so many new opportunities for players all around the world. At Bitcasino, we're well ahead of this curve which is why we offer so many unique and much-loved casino games, all funded by bitcoin, for a secure playing experience.
Online versus real world casinos
Casinos have that glamorous, mystical aura, don’t they? You may think that if you play online you will miss out on the atmosphere of being amongst others who enjoy gambling as much as you do. But just think, the most important thing is the game itself, not all the distractions around the game. If you're playing something as intense as blackjack or Texas Hold 'em poker, the last thing you want are any flashy distractions that are so common in brick and mortar casinos. When you play with us at Bitcasino, you can seal yourself off and be completely absorbed by the game in hand. Besides, you might be the sort of person who is happy to play along wherever you, possibly wearing your pyjamas or a tracksuit, or even in front of the television, so you can do two things at once.
Online live dealer games: If you want to feel you are part of a game with other people, rather than a machine, then fear not, you can get involved in our online live dealer casino games. In these, human dealers run the game in real time from a casino gaming table and players can make betting decisions via their computer. The results are determined by real-life actions rather than the automated processes of other online games.
Play for free first: Many online casinos give you the option of playing for free first if you want to. That means that you can get a feel for the casino and the game before jumping in and taking part with real money. That is why we off the 'Play for fun' option at the corner of most of our games. Just click on this and play a few rounds first until you're happy to jump in to the real game. This way you can enjoy practicing and find out what you like to play with no stress while easing yourself into the strategies and speed of the games.
Play wherever you want: Online casinos mean that you are not restricted to a certain location or time to enjoy gambling. You may enjoy the buzz of a real casino, but it takes time and costs money to get there, whereas with the press of a button on a laptop or mobile device you can access your favourite games immediately. As well as this, you can play for whatever length of time that you want – for five or ten minutes, or to dip in and out as the mood takes you.
So what are you waiting for? Our games are ready and waiting, all you need to do is sign up, check your e-wallet and start playing today. Most real world casinos have their opening and closing times, but at Bitcasino, we're always open. The time to play is now.
Words: Sean Mcnulty