Early humans developed something very important at some point during the Paleolithic era, which spanned from around 3 million years ago, when they first made rudimentary stone tools, to about 5,000 years ago, when they developed the first written language. Creativity is a distinguishing feature of the human race.
Gambling. Since the first appearance of a six-sided die in Mesopotamia more than 5,000 years ago, gambling has gone a long way. On that fateful day in October 1994, the Liechtenstein International Lottery authorized online ticket purchases for the first time. This was the start of the current era of online gaming. On the other hand, one could argue that nothing has changed the gambling business more than internet casinos. The following is a summary of the history of online casinos.
1995: The Year of the Inception of Online Gambling
The International Lottery of Liechtenstein decided in October 1995 to create a website and make their lottery game available to individuals all over the world. This action falls in between a cash grab and a public relations ploy. The New York Times, widely regarded as the most authoritative newspaper in the United States, published a story in 1995 investigating the circumstances behind an online lottery.
The estimated 50 million people who were linked to the internet at the time was a far cry from the 4.5 billion people who are currently connected to the internet. In the middle of the article, the author, Erik Ipsen, ponders a topic that would later be answered to the tune of billions of dollars per year. “The reality is that no one is yet aware of the potential that [people online] will engage in gambling,” he says.
The Groundwork for the First Online Casino was laid between 1994 and 1996
The framework for what would become the world’s first online casino was laid in the year leading up to the debut of online ticket sales for the Lichtenstein Lotto. The first online casino was founded as a result of the convergence of three events that occurred in separate parts of the world.
In 1994, Antigua and Barbuda established the Fair Trade and Processing Act, which allowed enterprises to apply for licenses to operate internet casinos. Antigua and Barbuda was a minor Caribbean republic at the time. Microgaming, a company started about the same period on another little island, the Isle of Mann, located between the United Kingdom and Ireland, created the first computer gambling software.
Last but not least, a different company called CryptoLogic has created a technology that allows secure financial transactions to take place over the internet.
Billy Scott, an Ohio bookmaker, was able to travel to Antigua & Barbuda and establish InterCasino, which is regarded as the first online casino. The enactment of the Fair Trade and Processing Act, as well as the emergence of Microgaming and CryptoLogic, made this possible.
1997-1999: Rapid Development and Expansion of Online Casinos
InterCasino’s initial virtual doors opened for business in 1996, marking a watershed moment in the burgeoning sector of online casinos and gambling sites. By the end of 1997, just one year after the first online casino was launched, there were over 200 online casino sites. The next year, the sector grew even more, with reports showing an increase in revenue from online gambling of more than 800 million dollars.
At the end of the decade, online gambling companies developed two more ideas that would have a huge impact on how people play in online casinos today. The first online poker room was launched in 1997, and on January 1, 1998, Planet Poker became the first website to offer real money online poker when it went live.
The technology that allowed many players to gamble online at the same time was invented in 1999. This allowed users to compete against real people from all around the world, as well as communicate with those players.
From 2000 to 2006, There Was an Explosion and Regulation
Most nations around the world did not have legislation in place to oversee internet casinos and gambling sites prior to the turn of the century. The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act was a piece of legislation that the United States government attempted but failed to pass in 1999. Australia approved the Interactive Gambling Moratorium Act, one of the first pieces of law to regulate internet casinos, a year later.
Despite these early constraints, the firm grew at a breakneck pace. It was predicted that by 2001, more than 8 million people from all around the world will have participated in some form of online gambling. The sector was functioning exceedingly well financially and reaching new heights in 2002. This year, the online gambling industry set a new revenue high of $4.5 billion.
This, however, would increase the number of legal issues, particularly in the United States. The United States Department of Justice told various media outlets in 2003 that advertising gambling websites was now unlawful. Despite the fact that a company had already been sued by Antigua and Barbuda and had gotten a World Trade Organization judgement against them, the US government fined the company $7.2 million in 2006 for continuing to broadcast advertisements for internet gambling.
Some jurisdictions, including as New Jersey, have even gone so far as to jail businesses that provide Americans with access to online casinos. All of this culminated in 2006, when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed, thus making internet gambling illegal in the United States.
2007-2011: Global Gambling Growth While the United States Continues to Fight It
According to Ann Holmes of Online Casino Gems, “beginning in 2007, when the United Kingdom authorized online gambling, countries throughout Europe began to understand what a financial goldmine online betting might be.” In other words, the United Kingdom was the first country in Europe to recognize the possibilities of online gambling.
While the United States struggled with development, countries throughout the world saw an increase in the number of online casinos, poker sites, and sportsbooks. During this time, the US government looked to have exhausted all possible avenues in an attempt to put an end to internet gambling. During this time, the federal government and state governments collaborated to seize gambling-related domain names, imprison the CEO of a gambling website on racketeering charges, and indict officials from online poker companies such as PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
From 2012 to the Present: Legalization and Technology
In 2012, the United States began to relax its anti-online casino and gambling campaign. This pattern persisted in 2013. Although there were some snags along the way, such as New York State adopting legislation in 2016 making it illegal for websites to offer daily fantasy sports, online gambling progressively got more popular across the country. Online gambling is currently allowed in jurisdictions such as Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, with additional states set to follow suit in the near future.
At least part of the reason the United States of America gave up the fight was because technical improvements had made online casinos not only safer and more secure, but also easier to access and more fun. Because of the spread of mobile devices, the improvement in internet speed and reliability, and advancements in gaming software, the tidal wave of online gambling could not be stopped.
We have arrived in the year 2020, when online casinos are widely available everywhere. They are easily accessible, and the most majority of them are trustworthy and reliable. Moving ahead, the outlook for online casinos is promising.
The advancement of novel technology such as virtual reality, blockchain-based cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, and face recognition is propelling the sector forward. As we enter the next decade, online casinos should continue to improve and gain acceptance in countries all over the world, despite the fact that challenges will always exist.