The History Of Online Gambling
The Internet is one of the best inventions in human history, arguably. The Internet has undeniably changed the way we live our lives, providing quick access to information, entertainment and money-making opportunities for those with access to a computer or mobile device.
One area of culture that has greatly gained from the Internet in the field of online gambling. Indeed, if there is one industry that has been at the forefront of the latest advances in virtual technology, it is the gambling world of the internet.
The Roots of Online Gambling
The first websites for Internet gambling went online in the mid-1990s. Those were, however, a long way from today’s top platforms in service. The finest online gaming sites first started operating out of Antigua and Barbuda because of the Free Trade and Processing Act of the islands.
This bill granted the small Caribbean nation the freedom to offer licenses to all companies involved in starting online casinos and, in turn, created a new industry.
At about the same time, Microgaming, one of the industry’s biggest software providers, first came to prominence. Microgaming has been known as one of the leading lights in the history of online gambling and a business that’s practically revolutionized online gambling.
In actuality, even now, Microgaming is still considered one of the most reliable providers of software for the internet gaming industry. Actually their program supports all sorts of online gaming sites from casinos to poker rooms, and everything in between.
A Gaming Revelation
Another significant development in the online gambling history came after the establishment of the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in 1996. Owned and run by a Canadian-based Mohawk Indian tribe, the commission was established to grant gaming licences.
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission’s establishment coincided with the introduction of the first online gambling websites, but which site came first is up for debate.The history of online gambling is also riddled with mistakes, and while some sources say that InterCasino was the first virtual platform, others may state that the offer of Microgaming came first. By opening in late 1995 GamingClub, founded by Microgaming, beat them to the punch.
The online gambling industry has seen huge growth following this initial birth. There were approximately 15 Internet gaming sites in service by the end of 1996. Moreover, the industry had exploded by the close of 1997 and there were more than 200 online casinos, poker sites and sportsbooks operating all over the world with annual sales of around $1 billion.
The Rise of Sports Bettin
Naturally, the natural progression from virtual casino and poker sites has been towards online sportsbooks. In 1996 InterTops was the first website offering fans a new way of wagering on their favourite teams.
These websites initially gave the punters huge bonuses and cashback offers as an incentive for online gambling. These deals gradually decreased as the market matured. However, if you know where to look (and fortunately we do) the modern online gambling climate is still very much a Mecca for bonuses.
Another interesting trend in online sports betting developed after Betfair came onto the market in 2000. Since the introduction of peer-to-peer wagering, this internet gaming platform brought sports betting to a new stage. This method, almost unprecedented in the industry, effectively permitted players to make bets amongst themselves while the platform took a commission from each wager.
Two years after Betfair was formed, in-play sports betting provided yet another boom for the online industry. Due to its compatibility with both desktop and mobile devices, taking internet technology to its limits, live sports betting has proved to be immensely popular and one of the most exciting new sports wagering options on the market today.
Planet Poker is widely considered to be the first online gaming platform to sell poker. This forum, which was established back in 1998, quickly attracted a large number of players including the WSOP bracelet winner Chris “Jesus” Ferguson.
Planet Poker’s failure led to the rise of new poker sites such as Paradise Poker, Partypoker and, finally, PokerStars. Paradise was released from a Costa Rican base in 1999, and soon became the market’s largest player. Thanks to a more advanced platform than Planet Poker, Paradise has been able on a daily basis to cram thousands of players onto its platform.
Although online gambling has had its ups and downs over the years, there’s renewed hope for the future, especially online poker. Europe has already accepted internet gambling as the right of every legal adult and it seems as if the US and other countries are beginning to follow the same line of thought.
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