The online gambling sector was on some major rotation in 2005 with online casino promotions becoming bigger and better, gambling events merging online and offline marketing and a number of casino operators even making their way onto the London Stock Exchange.
New software technology and online casino games hit the market, making 2005 one of the busiest years yet. But more importantly there are a lot of excited gamblers and investors waiting to see what the major online casinos and poker rooms will bring to the table for 2006.
Perhaps some cutting-edge, innovative gambling software or drastically improved Internet security technology that will add an entirely new dimension to what it means to play online. Or could we be looking forward to even bigger prize pools and tournaments that go beyond the likes of PartyPoker's "Poker Tournament Cruise" or the Fortune Lounge Group's "International Casino Games".
Over the past year the online casinos have done a lot to make the process of online gambling more involved and exciting for the player. Traditional download casino software saw the addition of new technology designed to make the online casinos more enjoyable and convenient. Java applications and instant-play Flash casino games helped players obtain immediate access without downloading or installing software.
Mobile casino games have also become the growing trend within global entertainment markets, and many players enjoy great games, like poker and Blackjack from their hand-held devices. This technological revolution has allowed players to take their favorite online casinos and poker rooms with them.
Maybe a change is brewing in the way gamers play online, and with the increase in casino and poker room endorsements by eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance, eCOGRA, responsible gambling and player protection is becoming increasingly the norm online.
In South Africa, for example, Internet gambling is not really legal, but the National Gambling Board in that country, is trying to get above-mentioned sector legitimated by the Trade and Industry Ministry. This could mean that South Africans earning a substantial living off playing casino games or poker online could be in for the tax ride of their lives.
The question is whether 2006 will see the similar kind of phenomenon and originality that online gambling provided in the previous year. With the ever-increasing penetration and affordability of online entertainment, more and more players are joining in the fun at online casinos, and this creates healthy competition that is often the reason for fresh features and innovative technology.
Whatever this New Year brings, one things for sure, that financially the rewards stand to quadruple in the next four years, with the legalization of Internet gambling promising an estimated USD25 billion burst into economic markets.
So while online casinos vie for our consumer interests, we can enjoy the benefits or more appealing and interactive casino technology while we await the financial rewards of a revolutionary industry.