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Tracing the Roots of Online Gambling
The boom of internet era has paved the way for online gambling casinos to go mainstream. You may be asking now as to how did it all started?
It was back in the early 1990s when a country in the Caribbean region passed a law that legalizes online gambling. It was Antigua and Barbuda that pioneered lawmaking to give a green light to online gambling via the Freed Trade and Processing Act. Licenses were granted to various organizations in 1994. This is where it all began.
One of the forefathers of online software providers, Microgaming was founded in 1994. Luckily for the company, they are not only one of the originals in the industry, they have also laid a strong foundation that made them resilient from all the challenges over the years. Microgaming is still operating to this day.
There is no discussion as to how it all started. The debate looms around the question: who built the first online casino gambling platform? For the longest time, InterCasino was believed to have created the first online casino in 1996. But when you think of it, there was a law that already allowed license distribution as early as 1994. It is very possible that there is another organization that came first. True enough, Gaming Club was said to have set their sails in 1994. It is a site built by Microgaming. It is still providing online gaming services today and has license to operate from Gibraltar.
The next country to join the craze is Canada. The country realized that it is lucrative to monetize online gambling casinos, but should be regulated properly. In 1996, they created the Kahnawake Gaming Commission to oversee and control online gambling in the country. They started issuing licenses even to non-citizens. This move signals the onset of a global phenomenon in the online gambling space.
The only thing that stood between online gaming casinos and indomitable success is the slow internet connection back in the day. They don’t have DSLs or Wi-Fis to make the online games easily accessible as today. But, developers were persistent in improving their platforms to better engage and attract players worldwide. They added details and complexities that made online gambling more fun and entertaining. With continued patronage, the industry reaped more than $834 million in revenues in 1998. That was just four years after online gambling first saw the light. While there was an outstanding challenge with regard to internet connectivity, it did not become hindrance to the growth of the business.
Because of the demand, online gambling providers learned how to thrive in the industry by way of adaptation. Intertops tweaked their systems to cater to the new growing needs of customers. They are an online Sportsbook that was founded in 1996. Their business started in 1983 when they were getting bets over the phone. Their resiliency has paid off. The company is still up and running today and receives 4000 sports wagers daily. They are present in over 180 countries globally. But, not everyone has the same fate as Intertops. Planet Poker, which opened in 1998, has a different story. They were not able to catch up with the demands of the players in terms of player engagement and connectivity. The company did not get traction as much as it expected to.
But, Poker is here to stay when you speak of online casino gambling. In no time, Party Gaming was able to create the largest poker room in the world, the Party Poker. The company saw major successes in the industry and was eventually listed and went to public trading in London Stock Exchange in 2005.
With popularity comes inevitable issues. In 2005, the United States government expressed some concerns over foreign countries servicing and dealing with U.S. citizens for their online gambling needs. The courts did not see any viable causes to put a stop to the on-going transactions of U.S. citizens to foreign gambling sites. They favored Antigua and Barbuda over the U.S. in this case. Since then, other countries have expressed uncertainty in dealing with U.S. citizens. They were not sure which is legal and illegal in the country. Up to this, no one has been charges with any criminal case pertaining to online gambling in the United States. Others are suggesting, however, to tax this particular platform to boost the economy.
The situation is different with the European Union as they agreed to extend licenses to online gambling companies of member countries including Gibraltar and the Isle of Man.
As the industry grows bigger, several online casino gambling providers saw immense success, As a result, they have listed themselves and is now trading publicly. South Africa has joined the European Union in issuing licenses to online gambling operators.
There seems to be no stopping the online gambling industry from soaring heights. The improvement of internet connectivity and development of more applications that can create stunning visuals and variety of games contribute to promise of unprecedented growth.
These developments are good signs for the online gambling providers. However, this should also send a message to real physical casinos that they need to level up their games in order to compete with the broadening market of online gambling.