Published on May 9th, 2020 | by Maria Taylor1
How the 1980s Influenced Modern Online Casinos
No other decade is as popular as the 1980s… an era that spawned the age of pop culture in a meaningful way. On the surface, the relationship between the online casino realm and the 1980s is distant. After all, the first online casinos did not open until 1996. However, there is a direct line from the Eighties to the popularity of online casinos today.
Of course, these days online gambling is one of the most popular forms of entertainment. People use the internet for all their betting needs, and the live casino experience is starting to take the iGaming industry by storm.
While the DNA of today’s online casinos can be traced back over half a century, it’s to the 1980s we must look to explain the ongoing fascination with casinos. It was during the 1980s when casinos passed into the mainstream and paved the way for online casinos to be something people would embrace.
During the Eighties, casinos became the major business we know today. Of course, the famous Las Vegas Strip had casinos long before, but when mega-resorts opened in the late 1970s and early 1980s, people started to take notice. Vegas suddenly became a vacation destination for people who were not simply dedicated gamblers.
The decade showed the way for casinos to become part of people’s entertainment choices. As major resort casinos were opening their doors in Vegas, Atlantic City followed suit and enjoyed a boom period during the 80s. As this growth was happening, the film and TV industry started to wake up more to casinos, making them pivotal parts in movies and shows.
Celebrities embraced the Las Vegas culture, including the Brat Pack. This group of young actors encapsulated 80s teen cinema, and the actors also enjoyed hitting popular gambling spots. Indeed, Breakfast Club alums Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez were known to be fans of big money jaunts to Vegas and casino destinations.
Online Casinos Rise
It could be argued without the burst of mainstream acceptance in the 1980s, there would have been no market for online casinos in the 1990s. The gambling industry was able to ride the wave of success and the popularity of land-based casinos continued during the early Nineties. By the middle of the decade, the industry was poised to move into a new era.
The internet had arrived and was starting to change how people lived their lives. Like all early internet pioneers, the first online casinos were trail blazers, but were not instantly popular. It took some time for customers to realize they no longer needed to visit Las Vegas or Atlantic City for a glitzy casino experience.
They could now do it from home, and as the new millennium arrived, online casinos were starting to take off.
And we know the rest of the story. Since then, the online casino industry has continued consistent growth. Online casinos are used by hundreds of millions of people each day and are one of the fastest forms of recreational activity. Of course, this growth has come at a cost for land-based casinos.
People can play roulette, poker, and slots from their sofa, so why would they visit brick and mortar destinations? Las Vegas survived and thrived thanks to its vacation destination thrills that extend beyond gambling. However, other major physical casino centers, such as Atlantic City, are a shadow of the booming markets they were in their 1980s heyday.
The 1980s ushered in the modern casino and the industry never looked back.