Gambling has been an activity that has been around for thousands of years. Many of the casino games that are enjoyed today originated in times as far back as ancient civilizations. There is reference in the bible to a craps like game as well as the story that Moses used lottery style games to issue land. The Great Wall of China was built with funds raised from keno. All the classic games have their place in history and found their way around the world when migration across countries and continents occurred.
Over the years gambling has been perceived both positively and negatively and each country has set in place its own laws and regulations regarding the activity. Since the dawn of the internet, the history of online casinos has seen laws change as some countries have prohibited online gambling while others have begun regulating it. Online gambling has however grown to become a huge multi-billion dollar industry.
The Origins of Online Casinos
When the internet came about so did the technology to create online casinos but there were legal issues that stood in the way. The history of online casinos only truly began in 1994 when the Free Trade and Processing Act was passed by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda which allowed licenses to be issued to those wishing to operate an online casino.
While the legislature was being passed, Microgaming was established in the Ilse of Man. They developed an online casino software program where online transactions were made viable with technology created from Cryptologic, another gaming software developer. It was then that the first online casinos were launched. It is not known for sure which of the two developers launched the first online casino as there is a great debate as to whether it was Microgaming’s GamingClub or Cryptologic’s InterCasino. Either way they both influenced the industry in the early history of online casinos and have lead the way for many software developers.
The Growth of Online Casinos
1996 marked a significant growth in the history of online casinos as the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake in Canada established a gaming authority, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. This gaming authority had the power to issue licenses to online casinos. This event led to the increase from fifteen online casinos in 1996 to over two hundred in 1997.
Over the years the history of online casinos has seen a massive growth in the selection online Australian sportsbooks, the quality of the software and the game play features of the software. Themed games, multiplayer games, progressive jackpots and live dealer games have since been developed and become popular attractions for online casinos. Mobile technology took the industry a step further as the development of mobile games and casinos have allowed players to participate in their favourite casino games from most mobile devices including smartphones and tablets. The online gambling industry has seen an even bigger increase with the mobile accessibility. As the industry grew the online casino operators have had to compete to be the best which has led to bigger and better rewards offered to players. Bonuses and loyalty point programs are now commonly found at online casinos.