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The History of Online Gambling
Online gambling has only been around for the past 20 years, but it's one of the most profitable and popular on the internet today.
It’s no surprise that online gambling is one of today’s most popular and profitable industries; real casinos have enjoyed immense popularity for years, so it’s no wonder that players want to take advantage of the same casino games from the comfort of their own homes. But would you believe, that online gambling is estimated to accrue $419 billion dollars from worldwide revenue?!
It wasn’t always this way. Online gambling, as you can imagine, encountered some bumps along its path to success; as with any new industry, it was faced with skepticism when it first began in 1994.
The Canadian government realized the power of online gambling, and sought to regulate it then and there. Towards this end it created the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, an organization that could grant licenses to online casinos worldwide as well as maintain some sort of control over the new, burgeoning industry.
But the act didn’t prevent online gambling from getting started; in 1994, Antigua and Barbuda became the first government in the world to legalize online gambling through the Freed Trade and Processing Act. 1994 was also the year when the first gambling software company was started. This company was Microgaming, and until today it remains a giant in the field of gaming software.
Microgaming created the first online casino, The Gaming Club, and two years later, InterCasino launched its own gambling site. The competition was on.
Then, a sports betting company called Intertops launched their online betting site in 1996, and today has users in over 180 countries worldwide. Party Poker, one of the first online Poker rooms, is still the most popular platforms to play Poker today!
In addition to government control, online gambling faced another initial obstacle: slow technology. Many people today might not remember the old dial-up systems and the slow computer connections that characterized internet use in the 1990s. But they did, and it was initially technology that held the online casinos back. (For example, online Poker took longer to develop than other games because it involved more than one player – and all the technology was new!)
However, as you know, technology soon took off at an incredible pace, and online gaming sites did a great job of keeping up. More and more online casinos were created over the years, many joining worldwide stock exchanges and making their marks as reputable companies.
The rise of online gambling has also caused real casinos to use every ounce of their creativity and ingenuity to attract players to come to them. Not easy, considering that many online casinos offer the same games and the same opportunities to win– but the players don’t have to leave their homes!
And yet, even though it seems that online gambling has reached a peak, with $419 billion a year in revenue, it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop any time soon. More and more companies are being developed due to the large demand, and players are continuing to become overnight millionaires from winning at these online games. For a field that is less than 20 years old, that’s not too bad!