Video Gaming and online gambling have a lot in common. The wager in gambling is its only distinction from gaming. These two activities even have some shared history and are becoming quite intertwined. Let’s explore the history of online gambling and how it evolved out of video games.
Nintendo Card Company
Nintendo is one of the longest-standing developers in the gaming industry. The company has been operating out of Kyoto, Japan, for over 100 years. Nintendo made the games and gadgets that formed the foundation of online gaming.
When Nintendo launched in 1889, it started as a Card company. It was known as Nintendo Koppai, and their primary product was a 52-deck hanafuda card set that shares some features with modern gambling cards. Nintendo’s card production also played a huge role in rebuilding the table games sector. The growing presence of the Nintendo cards rekindled public interest in the previous restricted table games.
Nintendo moved from those paper cards to sturdier plastic cards in 1953, but their most significant product was the Nintendo Beam gun. The company launched this solar-powered light gun in 1972, making it the first successful solar version. Light guns became popular because people could buy and use them in their homes. It became the rise of home games.
Nintendo quickly followed the Beam Gun with the Magnavox Odyssey, the first video game console for public purchases. The Beam Gun worked with the Magnavox Odyssey and soon extended into the Laser Clay Shooting System, and the Arcade ranges when they became popular.
Sega Slot Machines
Games from Sega Games have been in our homes since we could get home video games. Sega used to be Service Games, a gaming company that exported slot games from the US. But the company has been around for much longer. The United States Government prohibited slot machines between 1902 and the late 60s. Maryland was the first state to legalize them in 1948, but Service Games had taken advantage of the ban.
Service Games had a contract to dispose of the slot machines that the US Government had confiscated. They bought the games from the Government and took them outside US shores for disposal. SEGA disposed of these slot machines in Japan. Particularly in the US bases. The goal was to provide entertainment for the well-paid soldiers with enough money to spend.
The venture blossomed outside America but did not do well when the respective state Governments lifted the ban on slots within their borders. SEGA has too many competitors and encountered legal challenges that made them abandon slot games in favor of Retro Games and other video games.
Arcade Gambling Machines
Arcades have been around for longer than most mainstream games. The first Arcade started in the early 1900s as large Skee Ball ranges. These Skee Ball ranges transformed over the years into the small games we now see at most arcades.Arcade games like Baffle Ball and Pin Ball were mainstream before 1940. The ban against gambling affected some popular arcade games, and we did not see much of them until 1972. These games were similar to the banned gambling games, so most states prohibited them.
Arcade games developed at the same pace as video games. The evolution of the computer opened the world to digital entertainment, and most arcade games became digital. The usual crowds surrounding pinball machines have dwindled to focus on their smartphones.
The reduced patronage was not the end of arcade gaming. These days, we see arcades in malls and at carnivals. But they are not the popular games they used to be. Most arcade games now have digital alternatives.
Claw Machine, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, The Defenders, and Pac-Man now have mobile versions. Like their arcade predecessors, these mobile games don’t have wager options. However, players place bets among themselves for more fun and entertainment.
Pachinko in Japan
Pachinko is a Japanese gambling method that involves pushing small balls into their catchers. It is similar to PinBall and about the size of a slot machine. Pachinko has been in Japan for over 100 years, but some reports claim it was originally a European invention.
Pachinko has evolved like most games. It grew from the players throwing balls into the catcher to this modern version—a mechanical device with digital components. Pachinko has thrived in Japan despite the ban on real money gambling. Its survival is because Pachinko does not involve real money exchange. Instead, the players exchange tokens.
Crypto Casinos and the Metaverse
Online gambling has evolved over the past 2 decades. Gambling sites introduce new features in line with the growing commercial development. The major change in online gambling comes from their payment methods. Online casinos used to rely on cash deposits at land-based cashiers, retail outlets, and bank checks. But the development of internet banking and e-wallets propelled changes in payment methods. Now, we have crypto casinos found on platforms like cryptocasinos.net that are in line with the growing financial decentralization.
We now have gambling sites that use specific cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum casino. Crypto casinos are casinos that only permit cryptocurrency transactions. The distinctive feature of these casinos is their payment method. The development in crypto gambling has also led to the introduction of Metaverse Casino. We are still in the early days of metaverse casinos, but some gaming operators like Atari video gaming companies are taking giant strides towards developing their casinos in the metaverse.
Loot boxes are popular gaming incentives. The game offers players two or more closed boxes as a reward at the end of each level. The players can select any of these mysterious boxes to reveal its content. Sometimes the player can pay for the boxes with their accumulated game credits or real money.
Like every mystery, the challenge with these Loot boxes is that they are enticing. Most of them are now tests of luck and very similar to hitting jackpots. Players have become addicted to Loot boxes that spend hours and money trying to open the next one.
Several European countries consider these loot boxes to be the cause of addictive gaming among their population and are making strict regulations against real money purchases of these Loot boxes. Belgium was the first country to ban the sales of Loot boxes. The Netherlands, the UK, and Australia also have regulations against selling Loot Boxes in games targeted at children. These restrictions have made gaming companies like Konami, Blizzard, and Nintendo stop real money sales of Loot Boxes in these locations.