A brief history of online casinos
We are all familiar with online casinos, they are a mainstay of our modern world – but how much do you know about the history of online casinos?
Traditional casinos have been around for thousands of years (they date back to ancient China), Roulette has been around since the 17th century, and slot machines were invented in the late 19th century. Online casinos on the other hand have only been around since the mid-90s.
Keep reading to learn more about the rise of online casinos.
The history of online casinos
The invention of the internet is arguably one of the biggest changes that have happened in most of our lives. It has changed everything from how we shop, how we entertain ourselves, and even how we gamble.
Until the early 90s, gamblers’ only option was to head down to a physical casino if they wanted to play a round of Poker or to hit the slots. In the late 70s and early 80s, most physical casinos had a security makeover. Slot machines became electronic, security camera systems became more sophisticated, and card shuffling machines became magnetized.
Casinos have always led the way when it comes to new technologies, so it was no surprise to anyone when some of the first complicated websites to appear online were themed around gambling.
We don’t actually know what the first casino was called. No one was keeping detailed records of what was happening online back then. We do know that it launched sometime between 1994-1995. By the end of 1995, there were 4 online casinos but by the end of 1996, there were 200. Now, this business is worth $56 billion dollars a year.
Antigua and Barbuda were the first places in the world to hand out licenses to run online casinos. Because of this, the majority of the first casinos were officially based out in the Caribbean. The act that allowed them to do this was called the Free Trade and Processing Act. These days, a lot of the major online casinos are based in the UK because of their generous (and lacking) gambling laws.
It was around this time when onlinegaming.com was launched. This was a website run by industry-leading software designers Microgaming. They began their company to provide reliable, safe, and unhackable software for online casinos. This software meant that both casinos and gamblers could operate safely. Their site still exists today.
As these sites were growing more popular, the government in the United States decided that it needed to clamp down on online gambling. Online Poker had become particularly popular in the States at this time. In 1996, the government of the United States passed a law called Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act. This law caused chaos in the American online gambling space.
Legal issues in America
The Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act made it illegal to take out money for online gambling or to transfer money to be used in online gambling. It didn’t make online gambling expressly illegal, but these rules made it impossible to do it legally. It resulted in a lot of the gambling sites based in the UK moving abroad and many other international casinos banning American players.
The three main sites that stayed in the USA (PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker) were seized by the government in 2011. This prevented players in the USA from being able to use these sites. In the online Poker community, this event was known as Black Friday.
How do things stand in America now?
Well, there is a little hope that things might change in the future. A few states – including New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware – have now made online gambling legal. And there is hope that other states will follow eventually.
The USA isn’t the only country that has rules that strictly prohibit online gambling – other countries with these rules include UAE, Qatar, Poland, Cyprus, Brunei, Singapore, and Lebanon.
Online Casinos now
Online casinos are now a huge industry that is worth over $56 billion dollars a year.
Online casinos now would be unrecognizable to users from the 90s. The Casino Games that are now available would definitely blow their minds.
Everything that you could want to do in a physical casino is now available online – from Poker, Roulette, Mahjong tiles, and even slot machines.
One of the major benefits of using online casinos is they offer discounts, deals, and free rewards that physical casinos would never offer you. There is no limit to how many people can be in an online casino at once, so they can turn over more money – and can afford to treat their customers to free spins and other deals.
There are now so many online casinos that customers can shop around for the best offers and experience.