As strong as the existence of online gaming is nowadays, still some of the industry professionals don’t really know how it all began and how the concept of online casino was developed.
It all started almost two decades ago. In 1994, a small Caribbean island of Antigua and Barbuda opened for business and became the first regime to pass its Free Trade & Process act. Two years later, in 1996, The Kahnawake Gaming Commission started offering licences and regulating online casinos.
When it comes to the online casinos, it´s more difficult to certainly verify which one came first. Two very well known companies nowadays – Microgaming and InterCasino are said to be the first online casinos. They were founded respectively in 1994 and 1996. Their status as the first trend setters of the industry and role models in the development of the technology is notable.
The industry continued to grow fast, and by the end of 1998, there was over 700 real-money online casinos operating. Another point that also tells a lot about the popularity and growth of the industry is that in 1998 alone, online gambling had generated revenues of an $834.5 Million. For such a young industry as online gambling was that time, it was an enormous amount of money.
In 1999 the industry faced some difficulties when the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act was introduced. The idea behind it was to prohibit companies from offering any online gambling products to U.S. citizens. The Act didn’t pass, but still numerous companies already stopped operating in America. When the situation was calmed down, they started offering their services again on the US market.
Currently, online gambling is legalised in 85 countries and it’s contributing to a $35 billion industry (as for 2015). As a young industry, online gaming is changing every day – it continues expanding and new innovations are coming up constantly. The industry is reaching the goals that once seemed to be impossible to achieve.