The glory days of the racino are far from over, it seems.

The US is probably the country most synonymous with gambling, perhaps due to the hotspots of gambling activity that has emerged from cities such as Las Vegas.

'Sin City’, the centre of all gambling and casino royalty, exists almost as an emblem of cultural excess and everything that is spectacular and ridiculous.

The 50s are often seen as the glory days of the Las Vegas casino scene, as an entire network of hotels sprang up, competing with each other in opulence, splendour and extravagance.

In addition, celebrities of the time frequently endorsed casinos, further fuelling the image of the growing industry as a rich man's sport and everything worthy of aspiration for ordinary folk.

Casinos live on today in a myriad of ways and functions – just take a look at and it will be evident that gambling remains one of people's guilty pleasures and pastimes.

History of the racino

The racino can be traced back to all sorts of gambling halls and centres across the world, as almost all cultures have engaged in games of gambling, as far back as history records.

However, it was Venice that saw the birth of what we would today consider the first ‘casino’, in 1638. This centre started what would be a major casino craze within Venice and by 1724, there were over 100 casinos within the city!

There is no doubt that during the renaissance, these casinos were filled with great minds who were observing how games of chance were increasing in popularity among the population.

Gambling today

Many people today have witnessed a generation of changes and advancements within the casino industry. Traditionally, casinos are often regarded as having an air of glamour and luxury, a place where dreams are born and some dreams die.

Within these buildings, dreams have been made and shattered. Through smoky-filled air and the symphony of ‘chings’ on the slot machines, the blue-haired grandmas and the rattle of a windfall landing in someone's lap, the casino has seen many changes in the last 100 years.

Gambling is very much everyone's sport, from young adults enjoying a day at the races to senior citizens on the slot machines – the desire to gamble is universal.

Casinos have ever been the playground for man's insatiable desire to make himself rich and ‘have a go’ in the great game of chance.

Of late, however, casinos have increasingly been regarded as a little archaic. There may even be a tendency to see them as an old man's pub, much like other institutions that are a trifle weatherworn by the onslaught of technology – for example, travel agencies.

The mighty internet has given the casino a new look. The need for opulent architecture became less important and the focus switched to user accessibility, design and ease of access.

Those of the online generation are no strangers to gambling and the casino now experiences its glory days through a substantial and hybrid presence on modern-day man's best friend: the mobile phone.

Online casinos

Today, casinos are becoming increasingly hybrid, and most operate online. The industry has adapted to rapid change and continues to do so as blockchain technology and crypto options sweep in, upsetting everything we currently know and understand about money and payments.

Casinos are struggling to keep up with the changes these emerging technologies are presenting. A new gambling age has pushed the casino to new heights, with an array of online options to suit anyone's needs.

From PayPal casinos to microgaming casinos, there have never been as many options for users to enjoy digital gambling from a handheld device.

In listening and responding to user choice and preferences, the casino industry is perhaps reinventing its glory days and giving a greater choice to customers than ever before.

Covid-19, however, has had a substantial impact on the world of casinos, with many jurisdictions closing their premises for extended periods throughout 2020 and 2021.

As slot machines and casinos are considered ‘close contact’ services (users touching machines and exchanging money), much of Britain and Ireland forced premises to shut, and when they did open, there was considerable red tape that affected the traditional casino experience.

This has led to casinos being cut off from their historic user base and unable to engage clients within the usual setting.

The glory days of the racino are, nevertheless, far from over. Although challenges have emerged for punters, such as missing out on races and cancelled events, the future looks bright.

In a world where people are struggling to rebuild their lives, the racino offers a little excitement – a flush of possibility that prosperity is just around the corner.

A new generation of casino users is emerging that is entering into new markets, currencies and a world that is recovering from a major global pandemic.