In the modern day, there are millions of people that go online to place bets and play various games of chance. For these consumers, there are hundreds of sites based in locations all over the world that they can choose from. However, this wasn’t always the case. Just as with regular land-based casinos, online betting has its own list of landmark events that are important to the history of the industry. Among these events, there are few that can compare to the significance of the first internet casino.
Before the 1st Casino
With the internet, it really didn’t take that long for people to figure out that it could be used for different forms of gambling. That being said, there were some legal and technological hurdles that had to be cleared before the first online casino could open.
As it is today, before the first internet casino, the laws concerning gambling differ all across the world. In some places, there is an outright prohibition and in others, gambling is legal to varying degrees. Before internet gambling, if you wanted to gamble and did not live in a place where it was legal, then either you would need to find an illegal game, or you would have to travel to a place where casino gambling was allowed.
As far as the legal hurdles for an online casino to exist, it needed a legal jurisdiction where the authorities would allow for and license it. This happened in Antigua and Barbuda back in 1994 when they passed the Free Trade and Processing Zone Act.
The technological issues that needed to be resolved were the development of gaming software and the creation of software that could facilitate online transactions. Shortly after the passage of the Free Trade and Processing Zone act was passed, the company Microgaming was founded with the intent of developing online gambling technology. Not long after that, Cryptologic developed software for online monetary transactions.
The First Online Casino
Once the legal and technological requirements for online gaming were met, the stage was set for the world’s first online casino to open. This occurred in 1995 when Internet Casinos, Inc. founded the first internet casino operating out of Turks and Caicos.
The online casino offered 18 different games for visitors to play and access to a national lottery. The success of this first online casino led to variety of other competing models opening up online. By the end of 1997, there were more than 200 casinos already operating online.
What Came Next?
Over the first two years, only a little more than a dozen online casinos opened. However, as the decade came to a close, more jurisdictions started licensing and regulating internet gambling and there was a boom in the opening of new sites.
Over the years, you have had further developments in the world of online gambling. Not long after the opening of the first online casinos, there was the first internet sports book in 1996. In addition to that, you also had the first online poker site that opened in 1998. Along the way there have been hundreds of new online casinos to hit the market, from world famous Intertops to the quirky, fresh and fun Vera & John – who dub themselves the best thing since sliced bread. In 2009, the cryptocurrency called bitcoin was invented, which sparked off its own types of specialised bitcoin casino such as MegaDice.
Online casinos offer the individual the opportunity to engage in one of their favorite activities, while sitting in the comfort of their own home. Not only that, but you can compare sites for different gambling products and compare the odds and the house advantage that the different sites have. When you consider where things started, it really shows just how far the industry has come in such a short time.