A Short History of the Online Gambling Business

pair of aces in poker black and white

Having a wager has been part of every culture since man first walked the earth. Through the ages, various games, sports and any other events where the outcome is uncertain have been used to gamble. Online gambling arrived on the scene in 1994 when a company called Microgaming, a software gaming developer who was based in the Isle of Man, and CryptoLogic, an online security company, joined forces to create a safe transaction environment, which led to the birth of online casinos. At the same time, a law was passed in Antigua called The Free Trade and Processing Act, which enabled licences to be granted to companies that wanted to provide gambling services on the Internet.

Gaming commission

In 1996, the Mohawk Council of Khanawake, a small area in Quebec, enacted the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which is the gaming body that regulates many online casinos, poker rooms and sportsbook sites based in its territory. The role of the commission is to keep online gambling fair and transparent.

The initial years

At first, online gambling got off to a slow start, with only 15 licenses granted in 1996, which increased to 200 by the end of the following year. It is estimated that in 1998, online gambling revenues had topped $800 billion in a single year.

Online poker rooms

These were introduced in 1998, and the following year saw the US government try to push through the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, which would not allow any company to offer online gambling facilities to US citizens, although it didn’t get passed.

Multi-player online gambling

Introduced in 1999, this was the first time people could interactively gamble online, and with new technology allowing for better graphics and game representation, online gambling continued its steady growth. Online poker rooms allow players to play against each other, rather than against the house, with the house taking a percentage, of course. The interactive dimension was new to the world of online gambling and contributed greatly in the further development of the industry.

The games

Poker, blackjack and traditional roulette are all well-represented online. If you fancy becoming an instant millionaire, why not try your luck at http://www.allslotscasino.com/ca/online-roulette.html? Who knows, you could be one of the lucky ones!

Australian restrictions

In 2000, the Australian Federal Government passed the Interactive Gaming Moratorium Act, making it illegal to operate any online casino that wasn’t registered before the year 2000. To date, there is only one online gambling company operating in Australia, and they are not allowed to offer their services to Australian clients.

Continued growth

In 2001, there were estimated to be more than 8 million people using online gambling services worldwide, and growth has continued exponentially, with worldwide revenue estimated at $21 billion in 2008. Various countries have imposed their own regulations upon companies registered for online gambling, yet the industry has continued to boom. And with exciting new games and an improved virtual experience, it looks like online gambling will continue to grow.