The arrival of the Internet changed the way we do just about everything and it made the world a little more connected and a lot smaller. It also changed the way we perceive the world and opened the door for numerous business opportunities and new, virtual marketplaces.
One of the biggest influences the internet had however was on the gambling industry and when online casinos started emerging it was clear that there was a whole new way to play. Over the years the online casino industry has grown massively and is the biggest digital entertainment sector worldwide. Making a profit of billions annually, online casinos have changed the way players view their favourite games and made gaming so much simpler and easy to access. Online casinos closed geographical boundaries and ensured that players no longer had to leave the comfort of their own home, making playing on the web all the more appealing.
So, where did it start? How did online casinos first make their presence known and who was behind these digital gaming venues that have caused such a shift in the way gambling takes place?
The Dawn of the Online Gaming Era
In 1994 the Government of Antigua and Barbuda passed a legislation that was named the Free Trade and Processing Act. This Act effectively laid the groundwork for the first online casino, although the available technology was perhaps less equipped and advanced than it was required to be to operate a site properly. This act also made it possible for operators to run a casino over the Internet legally and licenses were issued to those who were keen n entering this new domain.
At the same time as the law was passed a company by the name of Microgaming was formed on the Isle of Man and this software development brand began creating programs that were destined to change the way players had previously gambled. Microgaming was responsible for powering Gaming Club, the first true online casino that opened its virtual doors in late 1994 and today is an industry leader, having led the way right from the start.
To date, Gaming Club remains one of the most established, respected online casinos and it’s still powered by Microgaming, featuring over 500 top quality games.
The Growth of Casinos Online
Gaming Club casino claims to have been the first true online casino, but there are plenty of others including Intercasino, launched by Cryptologic who were in operation at roughly the same time.
Over the years the number of online casinos grew rapidly, especially as technology evolved and an increasing number of people purchased home PCs and had Internet connections. The Internet expanded its reach at a rapid rate and from the days of dial up connections to Wi-Fi and ADSL, every step forward has made playing casino games online more enjoyable.
From only 15 online casinos operating in 1996 to there being more than 200 gaming sites n operation in 1997, its easy to track growth in the industry. By 1998 revenue from online gambling exceeded $830 million and this figure has grown in size ever since.
In Australia and across the globe online gambling is hugely popular and despite changes in laws and other potential hampering factors, the industry has continued to flourish and attract a larger number of players with every passing day.