The History of Online Gambling

Online gambling saw an impressive growth during its history even though it didn't start off all that strong.

When it comes to how people choose to satisfy their gambling needs the online environment has seen a huge growth in the last decade even though its beginnings didn’t show such a huge potential.

The first years of the online industry weren’t nearly as successful and certainly didn’t have any of the growth registered in the last couple of years. If one could look back and see the reasons for the huge spike in popularity that online casinos has registered they would mostly be security improvements and better quality software which allowed for better games and smoother game-play.

The online casino industry can be traced back to Antigua and Barbuda, which was the world’s first gambling jurisdiction since 1994. The new legislation adopted by the local government allowed online casinos in the small country as well as the licensing of foreign operators.

While the new legislation was progressive and quite visionary, it wasn’t the only thing required for the instant apparition of the industry. The relatively slow internet infrastructure was also quite a big reason for the online casino industry’s slow start.

The scene, however, was set for the entry of the world’s first dedicated software developer. Microgaming was established back in 1994 and changed the way online casinos worked and looked.

This wasn’t the only important milestone in that period. The creation of Cryptologic back in 1995, just a year after Microgaming was another big event. Cryptologic changed the security behind the industry, assuring safe transactions and creating the basis for an environment with numerous real money transfers each second. After this, the first real-money online casino was launched by Microgaming the same year. The first real money bet came almost a year later in 1996 at InterCasino.

As the availability and speed of the internet become better so did online gambling. By the year 1998, Microgaming, the leading figure in terms of gaming development started to increase their game offer and launched the first online progressive slot game. The game was called Cash Splash, and like all progressive slots had a jackpot that grew with each spin and that could be won by any participating player at any time. The same year another classic entered the scene as online poker was included in many casinos’ offer. The series of improvement changed the way online gambling was perceived and just 2 year later, by the end of the millennium the industry’s popularity grew with over 700 online casinos operating legally.

The 2005 legislation adopted in the United Kingdom was another huge step forward for the industry, assuring numerous favorable facilities for online gambling on the European continent.

But progressive legislation was in short demand and not all countries adopted laws like the United Kingdom. In the United States laws weren’t nearly as permissive. Thing culminated with the passing of UIGEA in 2006, a piece of legislation which basically made funding casino bankrolls directly from a bank account impossible. Things didn’t stop there as the anti-online-gambling industry sentiment in the United States’ legislators led to the banning of some of the world’s biggest brands in 2011.

As for the last great development in the industry, that can certainly be called mobile gambling. The huge increase in smart technology allowed for further growth and accessibility for the online casino industry, with any potential player now having his favorite games just a few swipes away.  

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