Live roulette as we know it today is a sophisticated technical marvel that draws on cutting edge technology to beam games to gamblers across the globe. In the course of arriving at this point, roulette has undergone a fascinating history.
The early history of roulette (1700s – 1970s)
The exact origins of roulette are debated, but it is believed that the first true roulette wheel was invented by French scientist/mathematician/philosopher Blaise Pascal in the 17th century, as a by-product of his attempts to create a perpetual motion machine.
The game as we know it today was invented in the 18th century, and has changed little since. It was one of the most popular and iconic games at the famous Monte Carlo casino, and is still associated with that casino to this day.
Roulette branches out (1970s – 1990s)
Until the early 1970s, the only places where you could legally play roulette were Las Vegas and Monte Carlo. However, anti-gambling laws were eventually relaxed and casinos begun sprung up all over the world, leading to a noticeable increase in the popularity of the game as more and more gamblers sampled its charms.
The game goes digital (1990s – 2000s)
While computerised roulette had existed for many decades, it was not until the late 1990s that virtual versions of the game started to become popular, since they could finally be played for real money over the internet. These earliest online versions of the game were very primitive, but evolved greatly over the next decade or so, with constantly improving graphics and advancing security measures.
The live roulette revolution (2000s – 2010s)
The idea of running interactive, live dealer roulette was first broached by a company called Vegas 24/7 (better known as SuperCasino today). Vegas 24/7 experimented with the idea by setting up a television channel that broadcast live roulette games in which players could place bets from home via their TV remote, mobile phone or computer.
This concept proved quite successful and was a pivotal moment in the history of live roulette. Eventually, other companies picked up on the idea and developed their own versions.
Live dealer roulette on the web (2010s – 2012)
Online video streaming eventually became viable in the mid-2000s following the introduction of broadband internet to most homes. The first online casino to broadcast live dealer roulette using video streaming technology was DublinBet; who streamed their games from the Fitzwilliam Card Club in Dublin.
DublinBet’s service became instantly popular with online gamblers and soon dozens of other casinos rushed to join the fold, breathing life into a thriving live online roulette market.
Mobile: the final frontier (2012 – ???)
Who’d have thought, from humble origins of failed experiments and creaky modems, we would be enjoying pixel-perfect live dealer roulette directly from our mobile phones?
The increasing sophistication of mobile technology and gaming software now allows gamblers everywhere to enjoy live-streamed roulette games on the bus, at the dentist’s, in the queue at Tesco…even 40,000 feet in the air (with participating airlines.) Who knows what wonders the future may hold?