The first online casino was created in 1996. But, in reality, the history of online casino games dates back to 1994. It was the year that the government of Antigua and Barbuda accepted the “Free Trade and Transformation Zone Law” that allows the licensing of online operations that Internet casinos wanted to open.
In this same year, Microgaming (MG) appeared. They are one of the most famous online casino software developers to this day, with their Viper program that has been used by many online players for its graphics and innovation. CryptoLogic was on their heels, fighting for unsurpassed security in their programming products.
Two years later, the hard work of companies like MG and CL was culminated, Inter Casino opened its virtual doors in October 1996 to brag heavily and distrust concerns for safety and honesty. In the next two years, more casinos appeared, as well as better software programs and another country offering licenses (Antigua). Microgaming also introduced the never-before-seen jackpot, called Cash Splash.
In this same year, the US Congress attempted to campaign against the growing popularity of online casinos by introducing a bill that prohibited citizens and their North American territories from participating in online gaming activities. After much debate, the bill failed. The bitter battle fueled even more publicity for online casinos and the number of new accounts soared, reaching almost $ 1 trillion in the second year of existence.
A year later, the same senator (John Kyl, R-Ariz.) Tried to pass a different version of the same bill, which also failed to get enough votes to introduce the law. The number of online casinos amounted to 100 brands including the first Australian casino: Lasseters. To this day, Lasseters remains the only Aussie casino, as the government passed the law just after it began to ban other online casinos from starting.
Also in 1999, Micrograming (MG) partnered with PriceWaterhouseCoopers to conduct audits and reports on the results. This is the first step of what would lead to multiple contracts between PWC (and other consultancies) and online casinos. This fosters a perception of safety among potential consumers and helps the online casino boom continue.
A new era for online casinos began with the new millennium. In the year 2000, jackpots were finally introduced and the Isle of Man became the new jurisdiction offering casino licenses. Cryptologic also became the first publicly traded online casino-based company.
In 2001, the industry showed no signs of stopping. Surveys showed that at least more than 8 million customers had played online, and some of the best online casinos had more than 500,000 accounts.
The years 2002 and 2003 represented a time when more challenges were achieved in the online casino industry. Laws that restricted or made online gambling more difficult were passed in Congress, although they did not go so far as to totally ban online gambling.
Since these bills came into force, online gaming has continued to grow, an estimated more than $ 49 billion. This is due in large part to program innovations, Chat capabilities, live delivery drivers, best promotions, and customer service, as well as other reasons. As the industry grows, so do legal challenges. But so popular (especially in poker rooms lately), it’s hard to believe that one of these laws is capable of outlawing online gambling altogether.