Whichever time you look at, there has always been gambling. For example, there is evidence of keno, dice and mahjong being played in Ancient China from 2,000 B.C. onward. Different forms of gaming were also a popular pastime in the other major ancient civilizations of India, Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome. Despite attempts to ban or control gambling because of its addictive nature, it has persisted until today. Sometimes it went underground, while other governments allowed commercialisation.
Throughout, gambling has been seen as a social activity. The rich would gather in each others palaces and mansions to play or attend exclusive clubs. The poor would flock to "dens of iniquity" which were often run by criminal gangs tied into the worlds of prostitution and street drugs. This history is one long transfer of wealth from one individual to another. Before regulation, it was usually the criminal gangs that became rich. After regulation, those in positions of power took their commissions while governments subsidized the taxpayers through levies and taxes. But there was one constant thread. Whether you were an aristocrat lounging in a casino in an exclusive spa town in Europe or panning for gold in the 1840's and 50's, the majority of games depended on live dealing or the supervision of the betting by an employee of the House. In the more modern clubs and casinos, the dealers and croupiers have often been beautiful women, dressed attractively. In their own right, they were part of the attraction of the "place". The men would come, leaving their wives at home, to lose their money while ogling the girls.
Then along came the internet. There is nothing wrong with the quality of the graphics, animation and soundtrack. In most cases, they represent a brave attempt to create an experience similar to a real-world casino. But players can never suspend disbelief. They continue to sit at home or nursing their laptops in a hotspot with their attention fixed on a small screen. Nothing can replace the smell, noise and crush of people in a casino. Except, as the technology has matured and bandwidth improved, online casinos have begun to introduce live dealers for a range of your favorite casino games. This has two advantages. Many people prefer to avoid the random number generators that drive the software versions of the games. RGNs are too perfect. They feel it is better to gamble where human beings shuffle the packs or spin the wheels because human beings make mistakes and are inefficient. Secondly, animations only go so far. Even though it is a small screen, a live video feed of a sexy lady dealing blackjack or running a roulette table brings in the business.
Live dealing has been increasingly common on sites serving Europe but the first online casinos in the US are now recruiting live dealers and launching their own service. You can only go so far to compete on animation and welcome bonuses. Web cameras are cheap and not much of a studio is required to create interactive play between dealer and you sitting at home. With your favorite casino games now coming to you live, the pressure will be on the majority of the other casinos to innovate ad improve the interface and user experience. As bandwidth improves, your gaming experience will improve.