What is the history of casinos? Gambling parlors/halls, in their modern form, rose to prominence in the 19th century. However, social clubs dedicated to gaming entertainment bearing the names casinos originated in 17th century Italy.
Still, ones featuring traditional table games and poker more or less draw their roots from saloons offering games of chance in American cities like San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis, and New Orleans at the tail end of the 1800s.
But, the answer to – who started online casinos is WagerLogic. That is a payment processing subsidiary of Toronto-based software company CryptoLogic, a business entity essential to fostering internet wagering.
In the subheadings that follow, we will explore the evolution of online gambling, explaining online casino history while also elaborating on the following points:
- When did online gambling become a thing?
- What was the first online casino?
- How many online casinos are there?
- What are the biggest online gambling companies?
- What is the annual online gambling growth rate?
- What is evolution gambling?
- Is online gambling still growing?
Online gambling came into existence in 1994 when the Caribbean country of Antigua and Barbuda decided to pass the Free Trade and Processing Act, a law allowing this nation’s governing bodies to license internet gaming/betting operators. When this happened, it became legal for companies based out of Antigua and Barbuda to offer gaming/betting services over the World Wide Web internationally.
Isle of Man’s Microgaming developed the initial online casino software. However, CryptoLogic came up with a payment system that allowed operators to accept bets over a worldwide system of computer networks. Hence, CryptoLogic Operations Limited started the first fully functioning online casino in 1996, InterCasino, as part of the InterCasino Group.
While Planet Poker was the debuting online real money card room, appearing on the Web in 1998, fun free-play poker had been enjoyed in IRC channels for years prior.
In 1999, Planet Poker received its first competitor called Paradise Poker, which quickly overtook the internet’s card pioneer in terms of quality gameplay offered. However, as Planet Poker began to regain footing, thanks to a massive software and interface upgrade, PokerStars stepped onto the scene in 2001. Two years later, this online card room exploded in popularity when Chris Moneymaker won the 203 World Series of Poker after qualifying for it through a PokerStars online satellite tournament.
Today, most online poker sites have a dedicated casino section, broadening their gambling appeal.
Despite popular belief, the iPhone is not the world’s first smartphone. That honor falls on the Simon Personal Communicator, an IBM device that landed on store shelves in 1994. Naturally, at that time, the term smartphone did not get invented, but this invention fits the current definition of such a device.
In truth, it was not until the early 2010s that smartphones became a factor in the online gambling landscape, even though the first mobile bet happened in 2001. As the 2010s rolled forward, remote devices got the hardware necessary to run advanced gaming products. Today, anyone can play fish table games and make real money while also partaking in other diverse forms of gambling entertainment remotely.
Bitcoin got created in 2009, and in 2011, the first set of Bitcoin dice sites stormed the internet. A couple of years later, international gambling regulators started to license crypto gaming platforms. That allowed them to branch off from featuring only provably fair games, permitting them to host third-party slots, RNG-powered table games, and live dealer action.
Nowadays, crypto casinos and sports betting sites are all the rage, with many digital coin-only platforms ranking among the sphere’s best.
Even though many casual gamblers believe that streaming table games are something that showed up in online casino lobbies in the past five years, that is not so. In truth, Playtech, UK’s gaming software giant, soft-launched the original live casino studio in 2003, a platform exclusive for players based in Asia. Three years following this occurrence, Microgaming and Evolution entered this area, and by 2009, live dealer products started to gain steam.
Now, presenter games are the hottest trend, with many providers implementing RNG-fueled mini-rounds with presenter-based gameplay.
Per an estimate from Indian market research firm Fortune Business Insights, featured in the report titled –Online Gambling Market, 2021-2028, this sector raked in annual revenues of $66 billion in 2020. But, by 2028, it should grow at a yearly rate of 11.4%, hitting $158 billion in annual revenues.
Following the latest sector developments and projections, online gambling has not yet peaked. Its rise is only beginning, as is its diversification.
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