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History of Online Casinos


Can you imagine? There once was a time where you had to travel far distances to enjoy entertainment such as gambling. Times have changed and now we can enjoy real life casino experiences at home – play online casino games, participate in tournaments, and communicate to other gamblers etc. Although sometimes we take it for granted, it’s very interesting to look back on how it all started and came to what it is.

How it All Started

Actually, no one really knows how exactly ancient people came up with the concept of gambling, but historians are sure that some forms of it were present in societies throughout history. People entertained themselves playing games of chance and it slowly developed till the Early modern period of Europe, when in 1638 first gambling house in Venice was established called Ridotto.

In America gambling took part in saloons, where people enriched their everyday life with meetups, conversations and drinks. Saloons were quite popular in some of the biggest cities: New Orleans, San Francisco, St. Louis and Chicago.

Casinos entering the World Wide Web

The most significant year in the history of online casino development is considered to be 1994 when Antigua and Barbuda passed the Free Trade & Processing Act, allowing to open licensed online casinos.

In 1995 CryptoLogic, an online security software company, developed methods to make secure financial transactions over the web. Afterwards Microgaming Software Systems launched Blackjack, Video poker, Craps, and Roulette.

In order to keep the raising industry fair and transparent, in 1996 Kahnawake Gaming Commission released online gaming activity regulations and issued gaming licenses to online casinos around the world.

Passing Significant Milestones in Industry

As the popularity of online casinos grew, sports betting was next in line to enter the World Wide Web, first of many sites to come launched in 1996.

Huge online casino break was experienced in the late 90’s, when numbers increased from 15 internet gambling sites in 1996 to around 200 by the end of 1997. Late 90’s casino sites, poker rooms and sportsbooks altogether raised revenues around $1 billion.

1999 brought new industry events – the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act was considered, which stated that companies could not offer any online gambling products to any U.S citizens. But because of political reasons it didn’t go through.

More exciting for users – multiplayer online gambling was introduced in 1999, meaning people could gamble, chat and connect at the same time. This was the moment where online gambling first truly imitated real-life casino experience.

Competition as a Driving Force

As more and more people joined the online gambling community, competition between companies grew fiercer. One of the ideas how to attract more gamblers is the best working method till this day – online casino bonuses. That’s what differs real-life casino houses from online environment – countless opportunities to win more.

Because of the competition, industry leaders soon realized that quality of the games and software needs to increase. This was yet another exciting thing for users, because online casinos tried their best to be at the top – new features, better quality, themes, this also was the time when progressive jackpots were created.

New millennium, new laws and opportunities

With thrive and prosper also came new regulations. Starting 2000 the first Australian Federal Government passed the Interactive Gambling Moratorium Act which banned all unlicensed casinos from operating. As a result, only one online casino could operate in Australia, but it couldn’t take bets from Australian citizens.

A year later, in 2001, the number of people who had tried online gambling reached 8 million worldwide. Regardless of the regulations, the industry grew faster and faster.

Next big thing that aroused was live betting, meaning people could place bets as the sports game was happening. Now online gambling industry offered full range of opportunities and more people started to transfer from traditional to online gambling.

Getting Closer to Reality

Nothing stays still in this world, and even when we thought that online casinos are as close as possible to real-life experiences, industry introduced live dealers and live streams. Nowadays, technologies give the opportunity to enjoy almost everything at home and casinos are one of the most realistic expressions.

In recent years, no less important development was the introduction of mobile applications, first came sports betting apps, but in 2012 mobile casinos become available for iOS, Android and Windows devices, and now you can enjoy full on gambling experience in your phone.

What is Happening in Online Gambling Industry Right Now?

What are the hottest trends in the industry right know? Keep on reading interesting facts about online casino industry tendencies or check out our News section for latest updates.

Sources
  1. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/288918
  2. https://medium.com/@visualmodo/online-gambling-history-18caa7ec7758
  3. https://intersog.com/blog/tech-tips/online-casino-development-checklist/

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