Right now, it might seem impossible to imagine a world without the internet and online casinos however, just thirty years ago, we weren’t able to make a bet over the internet. So, how exactly did we get to this abundance of online casinos in less than three decades? Keep on reading to find out more.
The appearance of the first online casino
As the internet started taking off commercially in the early 1990s, online gambling businesses also began appearing on the market. It is thought that the first online casino appeared in 1994 as something they call social casino, meaning you weren’t actually able to place any real money bets.
In the same year, Antigua and Barbuda passed the Free Trade & Processing Act, which allowed organizations to apply for licenses that are necessary to open online casinos. Opening an online casino was made possible thanks to Microgaming and CryptoLogic that developed secure and fully functional gambling software.
Who were the first online providers?
While The Gaming Club and InterCasino both claimed to be the first-ever online casino, CryptoLogic-controlled InterCasino is considered to be the first online casino that accepted a money wager, in 1996. Soon after, many other online casinos joined the party.
The number of gambling websites went from fifteen in 1996 to two hundred in 1997. For instance, there was Eurobet offering online sports betting to UK residents and many other online casinos across the globe. Moreover, many sportsbooks created websites for their businesses, put up listings, and allowed people to place bets over the telephone.
Then, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission was formed in order to regulate and license online casinos as well as to ensure their fairness.
How did the rise in popularity come about?
It’s only normal that with the advancement and expansion of various technologies, online casinos started progressing as well. Besides better graphics and faster processing times, the selection of games is also a crucial element that contributed to the popularity of online casinos.
Land-based establishments usually don’t have enough room for all the available games and even if they did, there isn’t a brick-and-mortar casino in every city. The ease of playing without having to leave their home was the main reason that attracted players that were looking for a fun way to spend their free time. Moreover, casinos started offering various bonuses and promotions that acted as an incentive for players to join. These are all the causes of today’s immense popularity of online gambling.
The current state of online casinos
Despite many countries initially banning online casinos, many of them are changing their laws and regulations, in order to allow this practice and experience an economic boost. Back in 2008, it was estimated that worldwide online gambling revenue was $21 billion, while in 2020, it was estimated that it reached a value of $167.9 billion.
The market is massive and there is a wide variety of options for players to choose from, as everything from slots to live dealer games is now available. However, it is also vital to practice caution and check whether a casino has all the necessary licenses before joining. This can be easily done by consulting blogs like, for example, CasinoTopsOnline.com that help players learn how reputable a casino is, what games it offers, whether their customer support is good, and so on.
The future is bright
As is the case with most things, online casinos will probably continue to improve and change over time. Nowadays, in addition to live dealer games, we can also see the use of the virtual and augmented reality that provides players with top-notch graphics to ensure a realistic experience.
Then, while many different payment methods have been used over the years, blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are slowly but surely attracting more and more players due to their level of security when dealing with money.
Lastly, while casino apps have been on the market for a while, developers will certainly put in extra effort to take the whole playing experience to the next level.
In less than thirty years, the online gambling sector has risen through the ranks and turned into one of the most popular sources of entertainment. There is no way of predicting where this industry will be in another twenty years.