Online Casinos History Through 21st Century

It’s hard to imagine that some time ago the gambling games could only be played in land-based casinos. To play your favorite slots, you had to suit up, drive to the casino, win (or lose) some money and go back home. Now you can stay in bed in your pajamas and at the same time play free video slots. No download and no registration are needed anymore. Online casinos made a long way to take their modern shape and in this article, we will tell you more about their history, the funny facts, and the main landmarks.

The 90’s

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The history of online gambling industry started in 1994 in Antigua and Barbuda. That’s where the first law permitting gambling operators to apply for online licenses was passed. The first company to use this opportunity was the famous Microgaming that created its first gambling software in the same year. Two years later, in 1996, the first money wager was attributed in the Intercasino — the first online casino with only 18 gambling games. It was also the year where first regulating body — the Kahnawake Gaming Commission appeared to control the gambling industry. In 1998, the first online poker room Planetpoker opened to the public and by the end of the year, there were more than 700 online casinos offering gamblers to play their favorite video slots and other casino games for real money.

The 2000’s

And then the 2000s came. By the year 2000, the total income of online casinos amounted to $2.2 billion with two-thirds brought by the gamblers from the USA. Carribeans were now not the only territory to offer gambling licenses — Alderney, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man joined in and the number of gamblers amounted to 8 million. In 2005, the UK government represented the most liberal gambling legislation and it was the golden age of online gambling before the regulations and roadblocks started to appear. 2006 was a very bad year for the US gamblers as the government passes the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act making it impossible for the casinos to get and pay out money to the US bank accounts. It changed the way gambling worked in the USA but didn’t stop the increase of the world’s key figures — by the year 2010 there were more than 865 online casinos available for international gamblers and their total revenue amounted to $21 billion.

Unfortunately, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was not the end of the US government restrictions. In 2001 largest poker sites such as Cereus, FullTilt Poker and PokerStars were shut resulting in the big losses in the whole gambling industry. This day is still called the “Black Friday”.

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The 2010’s

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The 2010’s opened the doors for the new technologies and inventions as well as for the new gamblers, gambling software developers, and online casinos. 2011 showed up with the largest online casino jackpot in history — a student from Norway won 11.7 million euros while playing the Mega Fortune slot by NetEnt.

Even though mobile gambling as a thing appeared a little bit earlier, 2013 was the year when we could see the mobile gambling boom. In total, more than $13 billion was wagered in mobile casinos during the year. In the same year, social gambling started to gain its popularity. Now you could play free video slots or make real money bets without leaving your Facebook page.

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What’s next?

Today there are 85 countries in the world where inline gambling is completely legal. Together, they bring to the gambling industry more than $35 billion. New online casinos appear every day with hundreds of gambling games in their collection. Some of them have already introduced the newest technologies such as Virtual Reality but there is still a long way to go. We are looking forward to the new inventions and technologies and will keep you updated. So stay tuned, play the games in online casinos and get lucky!

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