Online Gambling History
The history of online casinos shows an incredible growth over the span of two decades and various hurdles along the way.
From The First Online Casino To Today’s Multi-Billion Dollar Industry: The online gambling industry of today is a huge and complex web of connections between various operators aiming to create the perfect gaming experience for customers from around the world. However, it wasn’t always like this and it took a bit over two decades to reach this point with the help of a growing reach, improving technology and reliable services.
We start our journey back in time with the first step which took place in Antigua and Barbuda. The Caribbean nation became the first country to legalize online casinos in 1994 and made it possible for operators to get licenses under this jurisdiction. The same year saw the first casino software developer come into the scene as Microgaming started creating gambling software.
The next year, in 1995, Cryptologic answered the demand for security with online transactions and Microgaming launched its first real play online casino in October.
It wasn’t until 1996 that the first money wager was placed on online casino games, with InterCasino having the first clients with its collection of 18 games at the time. Later the same year, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission is formed for more regulations.
The first progressive slot machine made its way onto the scene in 1998, with Microgaming launching Cash Splash. Also in 1998, the industry saw its first internet poker room and by the end of the year, there were more than 700 online casinos taking real money bets.
By the year 2000, online casinos are already generating revenues north of $2.2 billion.
In 2001, several important jurisdictions start offering licenses to make it an international industry with the help of Isle of Man, Gibraltar and Alderney.
The peak of the online gambling industry was reached in 2005, also the same year when UK passed the most liberal gambling legislation in Europe.
The problems started soon after with the industry receiving a huge blow in 2006 with the passing of the UIGEA, making it illegal for banks to process transactions related to online gambling.
When the year 2008 came along, estimates showed that revenue from online gambling worldwide reached $21 billion.
Two years later, in 2010, more than 860 online casinos are available for customers.
In April 2011, on a day now referred to as Black Friday, the US government came cracking down on major online poker rooms and banned them from the country.
The mobile gambling boom takes place in 2013 to have more than $10 billion in revenue from betting on mobile devices. Social casinos also stand out with their revenue in the same year.
2015 ended with hundreds of games from major developers and countless online casinos all over the world.