The History of Online Gambling
Online Gambling registered an impressive timeline, with constant growth despite sometimes unfavorable legislation.
The online gambling industry has registered a very impressive growth in the past decades, starting from an uncertain place and growing to something that can be accessed from just about any PC in the world.
Its beginnings weren’t glamorous and while the industry is currently a big success, online gambling had a lot of growing to do before reaching this point. One of the most important reasons for its current success is the improvements made to safety and in the quality and complexity of the games.
Online gambling began in Antigua and Barbuda, where the first gambling jurisdiction was established in 1994. This new piece of legislation made online casinos legal while also allowing operators from all over the world to get licenses for their websites there.
This piece of legislation, while changing the game when it comes to online gambling wasn’t sufficient to transform online casinos from a fringe idea to a worldwide phenomenon. The relatively low spread of the internet and slow speeds also played a part in the slow start of online casinos.
Microgaming is a recognizable name in today’s market but when it first appeared on the scene back in 1994 it completely changed the way online casinos were looked at being the first dedicated software developer.
Another key milestone in the evolution of online gambling was the creation of Cryptologic in 1995. Until this time, online gambling was looked at with a certain degree of suspicion because of the ease with which money or personal information could be accessed. Cryptologic provided the first safe transactions and paved the way for the first real money online casino which was launched by Microgaming in 1995. It took a bit more time for online gambling to get a following and things really picked up with the first actual real money bet being placed at InterCasino in 1996.
The availability of internet services also helped cement online gambling’s position. By 1998, Microgaming started diversifying the game offer and launched the world’s first online progressive slots game. Like all progressive slots, Cash Splash offered a jackpot which any user could win at any time and which grew with every bet made within the game. Online poker made its apparition in 1998 as well. The new series of games and improving game-play really made a difference in the industry’s popularity with the year 2000 showing a prosperous industry with over 700 operational online casinos.
The industry peaked in 2005 when a progressive piece of legislation was adopted in the UK, allowing further growth on the European continent.
Things didn’t go so well all over the globe, with United States lawmakers not sharing their European partner’s liberal views. This led to the passing of UIGEA in 2006. The legislation basically forbade funding an online casino bankroll through bank accounts. This wasn’t the only unfavorable action against online casinos taken in the United States with several of the biggest names in the industry being banned from operating in the country in 2011.
Mobile gambling was the latest development in the history of online gambling, an event which helped increase the industry’s popularity and accessibility further than anyone would have imagined a short decade ago.