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The Evolution Of Payment Methods In Online Casinos

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Online casino gaming has been integral to the growth of digital payment methods. Companies operating in this fiercely competitive global market have made it their mission to champion common payment methods like Visa while also providing a route for those of us who prefer to use other payment methods, ranging from e-wallets to alternate currencies.

These platforms have spent a lot of time and resources encouraging us to gamble using other payment methods, and this has played a critical role in the speed and scope of the evolution over the last 25 years. Casino providers highlight bonuses for niche payment methods and encourage incentives and promotions for depositing using this method, which has helped to steer the evolution of casino payment methods in different directions throughout the course of this century.

The Early Days of Casino Gaming

When digital casinos first emerged in the late 20th century, they had an uphill battle. The market was dominated by land-based providers, and the way in which people gambled and the legislation that underpinned the market were skewed in favor of the land-based industry.

However, several components came together and quickly changed the industry’s trajectory. A combination of factors that revolve primarily around legislative changes, cheaper, faster and widely accessible internet, and the meteoric rise of smartphones, made those in the industry sit up and take notice, and realize that there was a lot more to this digital casino business than they initially thought.

Payment methods have been the lifeblood behind many of these changes and have provided a bridge for many casino companies to facilitate quick withdrawals and deposits. Once more home PCs emerged in the 1990s and broadband internet connections started to become omnipresent in homes, societies and offices, the casino industry faced the next challenge of finding a way to facilitate quick payments.

While accessibility to computers and the internet may have been the first obstacle to overcome, casino payment methods emerged as a new battleground for companies. Even as early as the mid-1990s, casino platforms were positioning themselves in the market to appeal to those who wished to use alternate ways to deposit their funds with their online casino provider.

Astropay and E-Wallets – A Landscape of Changing Payments

Some people mistakenly believe that the only avenues of payment in the early 21st century were Visa and Mastercard. However, e-wallets were among the early pioneers of digital casino payment methods, especially in the US and the UK, where many people used digital wallet providers to protect their data.

An e-wallet essentially provides a bridge between your bank account or card and the casino provider. AstroPay uses a global e-wallet system that allows you to make peer-to-peer transfers and generate virtual debit cards.

Once you have logged in, you can connect your login, and the only information held on the casino server or site is your e-wallet login. Many e-wallet providers have been around for over two decades in casino gaming, and casinos with AstroPay continue to command a sizeable portion of the industry. The recent rise of AstroPay and the number of people using it shows just how extensive the demand is for e-wallets.

Paypal, Neteller, Skrill And Other E-Wallets

The scope of e-wallets available for casino payment methods is huge – PayPal and Neteller were two of the first to illuminate the potential that lay in wait. Both of these e-wallets facilitate billions of dollars’ worth of transactions in the casino industry. The size of PayPal itself is impressive – if it were a standalone bank, for instance, it would have the largest customer base on the planet.

While it has announced a series of job cuts this year, especially in the face of rising competition such as AstroPay, Neteller and other e-wallets, it remains a multibillion-dollar enterprise and commands a massive part of the industry. It’s arguably the most visible of all e-wallets.

Neteller perhaps doesn’t get the credit it deserves for being so groundbreaking in the world of digital casino payments. It’s estimated that in the early 2000s, it facilitated over half of the gambling transactions that took place in the US. While it might have lost its grip and dominance when stiff competition emerged, it was among the first to truly grasp the potential.

Best of The Rest

Casino gaming doesn’t stop, and new and older platforms constantly look for new ways to innovate and pioneer. The US casino industry is worth over $180 billion per year, with an estimated tax bill of over $50 billion since 2017. With such potential profit available for casinos, and a finite number of games, innovation and creativity need to come from other areas of the business.

As casinos explore dozens of potential new avenues, ranging from AI implementation in their business to immersive VR casino experiences, plenty of providers still understand the importance of having a range of payment methods and a truly diverse selection for those who prefer to use newer, digital forms of payment.

Many casinos have started targeting brand-new payment methods, such as cryptocurrency. Although it only makes up a fraction of the current industry, the recent explosion in the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum has brought into focus the potential of crypto payments as well.

By adding an entirely new layer that didn’t even exist in the industry 15 years ago, blockchain and e-wallets could be the new ticket over the next decade. However, nobody really knows where the industry is headed, and the potential of crypto casinos will hinge a lot on imminent regulation from prominent nations like the US.

Responsible Gambling

While the litany of payment methods has improved the ease of use and the selection of online casino games, you must always exercise responsible gambling measures when playing casino games – or when engaged in any form of gambling, for that matter.

Responsible gambling protocol can take many forms, but the two main and most influential are sensibly managing your time and deposit limits. This varies depending on each person’s financial situation and income, but you should never gamble with money you can’t afford to lose – that should be the foundation of the limits you impose.

If and when gambling begins to have a negative impact on your life, relationships, friendships and your finances, it’s time to take stock and speak to a professional before your problem gambling spirals into a pattern of behavior that could ruin your life. There are many services available online that can help you with problem gambling, and you can also reach out on behalf of others to services such as Gamblers Anonymous.

Watching online casinos go from a handful of options like Visa and PayPal to dozens of equally viable options such as AstroPay exemplifies the industry’s success and the innovation that continually drives it towards fresh, groundbreaking discoveries.

Without this innovation in payment methods, the industry would likely not have experienced the same growth as it has over the last two decades. By maximizing the number of avenues available, casino platforms can appeal to the widest selection of potential customers, which drives innovation and will continue to drive this evolution for years to come. As long as the innovation is there, evolution of the sector will continue to fuel the boom in digital casino gaming.

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