A Brief History of Online Gaming: Part 1

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This is the first in a five-part series on the history of online gaming.

Gaming has been around for centuries in one form or another. One thing you can say about the industry that has been built around it is that it has always adapted to the times and adopted technology early. From the race results being sent by teletype machine to telephone betting services for sportsbook providers to Internet gaming sites that can be accessed via desktops, laptops and mobile phones, the gaming industry has always been there to provide services to players in the most convenient method possible.

If adapting to the needs of the players is what has kept gaming operations alive, affiliate marketing online has taken it to a whole new level, and has allowed brands to reach out to a much wider group of players than they would if attempting to reach out on their own.

The Origins of Affiliate Marketing

The first affiliate program is most often cited as the CDNOW.com program that started in 1994. According to most sources, the first affiliate programs were begun by the adult industry, which launched a cost-per-click model to get traffic to their sites.

Whichever one is correct, what is clear is that 1994 was the year that the affiliate marketing phenomenon began, and it was not too much later that larger business, like Amazon.com, began using this model as a marketing tactic.

Popular Gaming Affiliate Programmes through the Ages

Casino and sports betting were among the first online gaming affiliate programmes launched in the late 90s and the early part of this century. It was not until the early part of 2003-2004 when poker affiliate programmes started to gain popularity among affiliates, followed shortly by bingo. Mobile and skill games also gained ground with affiliates in the latter part of the decade and are tipped to see among the highest growth at the turn of the new decade.

In the next post of our look at the history of iGaming, we’ll look at the humble beginnings of affiliate marketing software and how marketing tactics have developed.