Although the ancient Romans enjoyed gambling, the activity didn’t evolve into the mainstream until the second half of the nineteenth century. With the rise of the internet, gambling got a brand new form, opening a whole new world of possibilities for both players and operators.
Defining online gambling is not that hard. Essentially, the term refers to any form of gambling conducted on the internet. It includes video slots, virtual poker, wagering on sports, as well as many other types of gambling. The first websites that offered their visitors the possibility to gamble online were launched in the early 1990s. However, they were far from the modern gambling platforms of today.
But even before the development of online casinos, an Isle of Man-headquartered company called Microgaming created a fully functional gambling software, secured by CryptoLogic, one of the leading names in providing online security. This allowed safe transactions, leading to the launch of the world’s first online casino in 1994.
Microgaming has remained one of the most important developers in the online gambling industry, offering its reliable and secure gaming platform that can support everything from online casinos to poker rooms.
A year later, in 1995, CryptoLogic launched InterCasino, the first online casino that allowed its customers to wager real money. The online casino, which is still in operation today, completely changed the way transactions were handled online, speeding up the process and making it much safer. That’s why it’s no surprise that CryptoLogic’s online casino managed to become very popular among punters quickly.
1996 was another significant year for online gambling, as a Mohawk Indian Tribe from Canada established the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. The commission was tasked with issuing gaming licenses to all those interested in doing business with the tribe. At the same time, its launch coincided with the increase in the number of online gambling sites.
The introduction of the commission set the legal foundations for the further growth of the online gambling industry. People were quick to realize the enormous potential of online casinos, and so, by the end of 1996, around fifteen online gambling websites were offering their services to gamblers. Only a year later, the new industry exploded, with more than 200 online casinos, poker, and sports betting sites being in operation worldwide, generating annual profits of nearly $1 billion!
Online gambling sites quickly became extremely popular with all types of punters, as they offered an entirely new way to enjoy casino games. Since more and more new sites were launched almost on a regular basis, the industry became very competitive. Operators gave their best to have an appealing and diverse offering of games. It was all about attracting new customers and keep the old ones return for more.
Technology was a limiting factor in the early days of online gambling, so the companies had to think of new ways to draw new players. That’s how the whole concept of welcome bonuses was devised.
The quality of online casino software also rapidly improved over time. Developers added new features to their games, high-quality graphics, superb animations, and innovative game mechanics. Many things have changed since those days, although quality and innovation have stayed two of the main goals of gambling companies, which always strive to get more players.
With the development of online gambling technologies, game producers were able to offer their customers an improved playing experience. Games brought high-quality graphics, fantastic animations, and stunning sound effects, effectively becoming more and more realistic.