Nobody imagined back in the early days of the internet that online gambling could have been a success. As a very profitable industry, land-based casinos offered all the glamour, glitz and thrills that kept people coming back to the casino floor, and it was hard to imagine how a person would instead sit in front of a small screen and click their mouse instead of pulling the lever on a machine.

This all changed with the introduction of high speed broadband internet, cable connections, the global use of mobile phones and more importantly the sudden surge of games and mobile apps that were played online and on personal devices. In a short span of 20 years, in a UK Online Gambling report alone, this segment equated to one third of all of the gambling industry in 2019.

Online gambling did not explode onto the sign by chance. With rapid technology advancements, the creation of dedicated online marketing companies like, game providers and software platforms and the rise of specialised online gambling regulators and licenses. The entry point was online poker in the early 2000s, with huge amounts of marketing driving users to play online and accept online gambling as a norm, to the insurgence of mobile gambling in the 2010’s that have driven the industry forward, innovating and reinventing itself to keep users entertained and engaged. At the forefront of constant reinvention, growth and excitement are online slot games, which have moved away from the three-reel single pay line standard, to interactive multi way games with diverse themes and plots. 

What is an online slot game?

If you’ve ever walked a casino floor, entered a gaming hall or sports bar, or watched any Hollywood movie that takes place in a casino, the first thing you will notice is the endless rows of similar looking gaming machines whirring and buzzing, ringing and chiming, flashing into your gaze to draw your attention. 

Online slots act in the same way, though being laid out in a less imposing manner on an operators website. Although the games act the same when playing, they are no longer confined to the four walls of the casino, but reside on your computer screen, or even in your pocket, and can be visited at any time, and more importantly, walked away from at any time too.

How have online slots changed over the years? 

From very humble beginnings in the late 1990s with typical casino style slots, the need to attract new players have pushed the online casinos and the game developers to create intricate and attractive games, with many using themes and concepts from popular culture to skin the basic principle of the game. Game developers like NetEnt focused on creating games around known fictional characters like Conan the Barbarian, Dracula, Jack and the Bean Stalk and Hollywood blockbuster Jumanji, and also striking a deal with Guns ’N Roses to have a Rock and Roll-based game. 

Other providers moved to innovative gaming propositions, playing onto the mass hysteria around FarmVille and Match 3 games, which provide a different entertainment value and a wider reach. The combination of these games, with regular old-fashioned slots, allows the online casinos to be competitive across most types of gamblers. 

The future of slot games

With the industry entering a new growth cycle through mobile gaming, and app-based solutions, the need to improve slot machine offerings has been doubled down. Most smart devices and computers are now able to handle more heavy lifting, which allows for the providers to offer better graphics, more sounds and soundtracks and also venture into Virtual Reality offering, coming back full circle to the physical casino look and feel. Augmented Reality could also allow a user to project these games onto surfaces in their own home, giving a whole new feel to the game and the experience. 

With a steady increase of people trying their luck on online slot machines, and a greater expectation of entertainment value from playing these games, the future of online slot machines looks very bright, and new and more exciting ways to play will be coming in hard and fast over the next few years, its just a matter of spinning the wheel and seeing what comes up next.

Disclaimer: Play responsibly. Players must be over 18. For help visit

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