Online Gambling. Brief History of Online Casino
The first online casino was created thanks to Microgaming Company in 1994. To be exact, this British company developed platform and it made organizing online casinos possible.
In the same year there was the law passed in a small island country Antigua and Barbuda that allowed government to give licenses to operators planning to open online casinos.
History doesn't know the name of the first online casino, but we know that in 1996 there were just 15 casino websites in the whole world which offered to play for money.
But gambling industry was quick to appreciate advantages that casinos online gave. In 1997 there were more than 200 casino websites with slot machines. In 1998 total revenue of all online casinos was 900 million dollars. It's quite a serious amount if we take into account that just a couple of years ago online casinos weren't familiar to public.
From the late 90's many big companies, which were previously busy with production of slot machines for land based casinos, started separate departments to develop online casino software. At the same time independent developers began to open. They offered their own versions of online slots.
In 1999, online casinos were prohibited in USA. Although for a long time this prohibition was just on a paper, since it was very difficult to track activities of online casinos and prevent them from accepting American players. In 2006, a new law was passed. It says that banks and financial organizations take responsibility for transferring money to online casinos.
Many countries started to prohibit online casinos, but quite quickly it was realized that it's very hard to effectively fight with online casino games. Except for USA, there's probably no other country that reached significant success.
The world gradually came to the point that online casinos must be regulated and legalized. That's what Australian government did, when in 2000 it passed the law regulating online casinos.
In 2001, the number of online casino players reached 8 millions. In 2008 overall revenue of all online casino operators was 21 billion dollars.