The world’s first ever online casino that dealt with real money was launched in 1996 by InterCasino. This name is popular among gamblers in 2021 as well. Today, online gambling accounts for more than a quarter of the whole gambling market in the world. The online gambling industry is an ever growing, multi-billion-dollar industry that is getting more popular every day. In this post, we will take a look at how it all began. Let’s get started.
The Meteoric Rise of Online Casinos: A Brief History
The History of Online Casinos
If there is one landmark event that can be attributed to the creation of online casinos, it’s the implementation of the Free Trade & Processing act by the government of Antigua and Barbuda in 1994. This law allowed the tiny Caribbean country the ability to grant licenses to companies that want to start out online casinos. In the same year, a software firm called Microgaming was established on the Isle of Man, around 4,000 miles away. Back then the corporate had a really small team and not much in terms of a budget, however that didn’t prevent them from becoming responsible for the creation of the world’s first fully functioning online casino. It was called The Gaming Club and had little in common with today’s online gaming venues. Nevertheless, it took the planet by storm because it gave gamblers the prospect to play casino games on their computers. Don’t forget, this was at a time when people were still wrapping their heads around the concept of the World Wide Web. Throughout the years, many other companies have made similar claims and have tried to require credit for this breakthrough. However, the incredible dedication and diligence of the blokes at Microgaming, along with their incredible achievements afterwards, have made them a real symbol of innovation and have established the Isle of Man firm as the pioneer in the world of online gambling.
Less than 12 months later after Microgaming, another key player in the scene, CryptoLogic was born. The firm specialized in real money transactions over the web and at the time their product was the missing piece to making a true money online casino. They launched InterCasino – one among the oldest online casinos that also function in the present day and happens to be the very first one to supply players the prospect of betting real cash. CryptoLogic revolutionised the way money transactions work online, making the method fast and safe for players. Thus, they fully deserve a special place within the online gambling hall of fame besides legends like Microgaming.
The Popularisation of Casino Sites
It didn’t take long after the launch of online casinos for people to understand their huge potential. In no time they became very fashionable amongst players as they offered a fresh and exciting means to enjoy gambling. In the ensuing months, many companies drew inspiration from Inter Casino’s success and started their own ventures. Numerous casinos emerged, leading to an extremely competitive field. Each operator strove for excellence, to supply the very best number of titles or the most fun ways to gamble online. The technology at that time was still in its infancy, so firms had to really think outside the box to encourage people to take up gambling and choose their product. As a result, providers came up with various schemes so as to draw in more customers than their competitors and this is how welcome bonuses came to be.
Due to the heavy competition amongst online casinos, the standard of the games and software quickly skyrocketed. More and more features were being introduced to the combination, and online casinos became a craze soon thereafter. Things like multiplayer slots casinos and progressive jackpots were implemented. This increased the mass appeal of online casinos even more. Since then, innovation and top quality have remained two of the most critical goals of software developers and providers alike and they are constantly working hard towards providing players around the world with the ideal online casino experience.
The Rise of Live Dealer Games
As time glided by and technologies improved, the general players’ experience was getting better every day. Graphics rose in quality; sound effects became better and software flaws became rarer by the day. Yet, the overwhelming majority of hardcore gamblers preferred the old ways of playing at a standard brick-and-mortar casino. This was all about to change. Live dealer games totally turned the scene on its head. Modern technologies allowed players to observe live streams while playing, thus getting that genuine casino atmosphere that a lot of people miss while playing online. These days, most online gamblers prefer live dealer games.
The Rise of Mobile Casinos
The thing that took online casinos to the next level, was the widespread proliferation of mobile phones. That essentially put an online casino in every person’s pocket. The rise of mobile devices also led to a lot of online casinos developing apps and mobile optimized versions of their websites. Today’s smartphones and tablets are devices of endless capabilities and even the entry level budget options offer the computing power of the PCs and Laptops from 10-15 years ago. As a result, all reputable casinos out there have invested tremendous amounts of time, effort and money into making their websites more optimized for mobile phones. Without boring you to death with the technical side, what this suggests is that they’re going to have a version that’s optimized to run on any recently released smartphone or tablet.
The Rise of Online Sports Betting
Once online casinos became popularized, online sports betting started becoming popular on its heels. The first site that came up with online sports betting was Intertops. Its launch in 1996 sent the existing bookmakers into a frenzy. Existing bookmakers were quick to make websites of their own, and various new companies emerged on the scene. Just like the online casinos, the online sports betting industry was also very competitive from the start. In order to get more users, online sports betting sites started offering bonuses, free bets, enhanced odds, and other specials, in order to attract more customers.
In 2002, several online bookmakers introduced live betting, allowing their customers to put wagers as the sports event unfolded. This became very popular with gamblers, and further boosted the popularity of the online betting sites and made them superior to the traditional, land-based bookmakers. Even though the latter still exist and do a really good job, the previous is certainly preferred by people worldwide.
The Rise of Online Poker
No post about the rise of online casinos can be complete without discussing the rise of online poker. The phenomenon was kicked off with Poker Planet’s launch in 1998. However, this was before broadband and 5G speeds became the norm. The sluggish dial up speeds meant that this site faced operational issues. However, players were hooked on to it nonetheless. As better sites emerged, the whole industry got wings and took off. In 1999, Paradise Poker was launched, and it has an almost magical impact on the industry. The site featured many poker variants, such as Texas Hold’Em, Seven-Card Stud, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, H.O.R.S.E, Five-Card Draw, and 2-7 Triple Draw. The site’s rise in popularity attracted numerous players.
Today’s online poker sites are just incredible and they can even challenge a lot of real life poker tables when it comes to experience. Another major event that went a long way in legitimizing online poker was Chris Moneymaker’s $2.5 million win in 2003’s World Series of Poker. He earned his way into the tournament after playing a $40 tournament on PokerStars. His victory gave birth to a dream to win such awards amongst numerous poker players and online poker received a major shot in the arm.