Before online casinos came into existence Microgaming, now the world’s leading online casino games developer, came up with the first gambling software ever to function fully. Together with CryptoLogic, a company that specializes in in security software for online businesses the first safe and secure online casinos started popping up.
Thanks to Antigua and Barbados, that broke the ice concerning online gambling legalization and passed the Free Trade and Processing Act in 1994, online casino operators were born and continue to flourish.
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission, started in 1996, was the first of its kind and the first to regulate Mohawk Territory online gaming activities as well as issue licenses for companies around the world, including poker rooms. Institutionalizing a gaming commission is an effort to keep online gambling operations as transparent as possible.
The 1990s saw an increase in online gambling popularity like never before, mainly due to piggy-backing of the popularity of the internet in general. From the 15 sites existent in 1996, over 200 were in full-fledged swing. The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act proposed in 1999 came close to hindering the market progression although the rest of the world was accepting this form of gambling much easier.
1999 signified a huge step-up for online gamblers with the introduction of multiplayer online gambling. Now anyone could gamble while chatting and interact with players world-wide. Regulation issues continued arising and in 2000 the Australian Federal Government passed the Interactive Gambling Moratorium ACT. This act would make it impossible for online gambling operations to continue unless they had a license issued after May 2000.
Despite continued opposition to online gambling, dragging on even today, by 2001 there were more than 8 million gamblers that used the online casino platforms to bet on chance games.
Similar to the positive changes brought on by the introduction of Keno, Scratch Cards, and Video Lottery at the beginning of the 20th century, internet gambling has revolutionized the way players view, interact, and experience casino gambling.
As a result the online gambling market fragmented into different and varied forms of online gambling. Poker is an entity in itself while casino gambling takes the lot of table and slot games among others, and sports betting is coming up strong with reported revenues in the billions of dollars.
Bingo and Lotteries, although quite old chance games are still one of the most popular forms of gambling and with the advent of internet gambling they seem to have no intention of dying down in force and players they attract. A good example of this is the UK’s National Lottery that sees 70% of its citizens playing regularly.
Horse Racing has one of the most varied arrays of betting markets and bringing up the rear is the rather newly developed online mobile gambling industry.
Setting up a precedent definitely helped start the online gambling market up, but even 20 years later there is still a long way to go before online gambling becomes a legalized fact all over the world.