A Brief History of Online Gambling
In our modern day and age, we can’t imagine life without internet. Actually, I don’t even know if life would be possible without internet, and I mean for various businesses which totally depend on it (Facebook, Amazon,Google, eBay, Yahoo! etc).
The same story is true in regard to online gambling. Easy access to internet changed the lives of billions of people, from all over the world. And one major influence of the world wide web was over the online gambling industry.
The online-gambling technology, as soon as it became available, despite its unique challenges, was widely embraced by the gambling industry, i.e. a lot of casino operators raced to be in the forefront of online-gambling business. Starting from 1994 which is the official inception date of online gambling, the internet became the sweet spot for online casinos, poker sites and sports books.
The very first piece of legislation which enabled online gambling was passed by Antigua and Barbuda. The law was called the Free Trade and Processing Act and it paved the way for the creation of today’s online casinos, by granting licenses to all businesses interested in starting online gambling in any way, shape or form.
The first tech company which released a working and truly revolutionary online-gambling software was Microgaming;the company was created in the same period of time with the aforementioned piece of legislation and even today, Microgaming is considered to be one of the most trusted/best in the business, as they continue to produce all types of software for the gambling industry.
Further more, Microgaming partnered with CryptoLogic in order to improve even further the quality of online gambling, i.e. to make online financial transactions more safe and secure.
From 1994 to our present day, many gambling sites were created and most of them built a solid reputation, as they’re still with us today, 21 years after.
A few online gambling sites in particular were making a big impact in the industry and their stories are very interesting, even fascinating to be honest. Some of the most important are Bodog, Bwin.Party, Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, 888, Bwin, Bet365 or Absolute Poker.
The vast majority of online gambling sites are using third party software, provided by various tech companies, that’s why most of them (the websites) are quite similar. But each and every one of these companies was able to go the extra mile, and using hard work, creativity and innovation made the online gambling industry highly successful.
Just to get an idea, in the late 90’s the online gambling business started to explode in popularity. From only 15 online gambling sites available to the general public in 1996, the number reached over 200 just one year later and the revenues of this booming industry topped $830,000,000 2 years later in 1998.
This boom was largely due to the establishment of the Kahnawake Comission in Canada, which started to issue gaming licenses and pretty soon the first online casino opened in 1996, namely Intercasino.
The next step was the creation of Online Sports Books courtesy of InterTops, the world’s first online sports book, opened again in 1996.
Since online gambling was hugely successful from the beginning, the flood gates were opening wide and new companies emerged.
To attract customers, online gambling companies used various incentives, like free wagers and huge bonuses, cash back offers or tournaments with attractive winnings. In 2002, live betting began, allowing players to place bets in real time, while the games were still being played.
Planet Poker was the first online poker site, which started in way back in 1998 and it led to the creation of a myriad of new poker websites, such as Paradise Poker and many others. These websites are now offering online tournaments which allow players to qualify for the World Series of Poker by participating (and winning) the World Championship of Online Poker.
The most recent development in online gambling is the mobile phone-compatible games, which allow virtually anybody to play or gamble using his/hers smartphone or tablet. Using apps such or new sites such as netbet, has greatly increased the availability and the ease of gambling online.
There’s little doubt that we will see in the near future even more developments in the mobile online-gambling industry, as it offers more incentives vs the traditional betting.