Online gambling may be considered a taboo or a dark corner of the internet, and while some may think of it as a potentially dangerous corner of the internet, we both know that a lot scarier dangers lurk on the interwebs. However, it is no surprise that much like every where else, a lot of online casinos have appeared all over the internet, and seem to be doing fairly well.
Here we look at a quick history of how things have gone on over the years for the online casino industry:
1994 – Antigua and Barbuda open for business
As boring as it sounds, all such things must start with a law, and so did this one. Antigua and Barbuda allowed operators to apply for licenses in 1994.
1994 – Software
Well, you can’t just have a law without any action, and so ‘Microgaming’ developed the first gambling software in 1994 as well.
1995 – Encryption
The internet back then was an open world. Hacking, if you knew what you were doing, was an easy task too. Encryption was developed and applied in 1995 to financial transactions, which didn’t just allow online casinos to become ‘normal’, but also enabled the likes of internet banking to become the norm.
We have the 1st money wager on casino games happen at Intercasino, the Kahnwake Gaming Commission forms to license and regulate, and Microgaming launch their first slot jackpot: Cash Splash
1998 – 1st Internet Poker Room
This would be Planet Poker, and by the end of 1998, there are over 700 real money online casinos around the world.
You really have to attribute this one to the sudden popularity of computers for home use and the internet, but by 2000, over $2.2 billion a year is being spent, and US players are 2/3 of the total revenue.
UK territories Isle of Man, Alderney and Gibralter offer licenses, and hence gambling goes global. This pushes users to 8 million.
Online gambling reaches its peak, and UK Gambling Act announces itself. However, things are not as rosy as governments around the world start to fight back.
US Law means it is illegal for banks and credit card companies to process financial transactions for internet gambling sites. This means that a lot of companies withdraw from the US market.
It doesn’t stop the worldwide growth though, as by 2010 there are over 865 online casinos, and many of the big names are already making a lot of money.
It gets worse in the USA, as the US government shuts down Poker Stars, Full Tilt Poker and Cereus for violating their laws.
With the iPhone, Android phones and other smart phones getting extremely popular, it was only natural that online gambling moves to the mobile phone. With many apps as well as the advent of ‘social gambling’, online casinos start to hit mobile phones more than any other media.
Right now, 85 countries have legalised online gambling, including the UK, and it contributes to an industry of $35 billion a year, same as a small country!
Of course, if you want to dabble in some gaming yourself, you can head to casino.netbet.co.uk yourself.