These days the internet is neither a novelty, nor something which can only be accessed by a select few. It’s a tool that’s available to so many in multiple different ways. However, back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s the internet was a little known phenomenon that had yet to make any real impact on society. By the mid 1990’s the internet had become a resource for the privileged and over the year it has grown to be accessible to anyone using PC, Mac or mobile.
As soon as online technology started to come to the fore a number of software developers saw the potential for taking casino games digital. In 1994 the first true online casino was launched and although the games were not a patch on what is available today, for their time they were revolutionary. Although many challenges have faced the casino online industry it has thrived and is now the biggest digital entertainment sector in the world. Playing casino online games is simple and players are able to access a myriad of options from almost any platform, including smartphone or tablet.
Humble Casino Online Beginnings
Antigua and Barbuda were instrumental in the legislation of online casinos and this Caribbean nation gave several businesses a license that allowed them to start a gaming site on the web. Under the Free Trade and Processing Act a number of casino online sites emerged and these casinos quickly attracted the attention of players across the world.
Microgaming is name that many players will be familiar with, and it was this online gaming brand that was responsible for powering the first true casino online. Having created revolutionary software that allowed players to enjoy a small section of realistic casino games online, Microgaming grew from strength to strength and remains the world’s most innovative foremost online casino software developer over two decades later.
A Popularity Explosion Online
As the internet became more of a common commodity and an increasing number of players had access to this virtual world, casino online sites began to flourish. Along with slots, roulette online and other table games, a number of poker sites were also established and players were able to game against those in other parts of the world in real time.
By the end of the 1990’s there was a vast number of casino sites and the industry had grown immensely. By mid-1996 there were 15 to 20 casino online sites in operation and by the end of 1997 there more than 200, clearly illustrating how quickly the industry ballooned. By 1998 revenue from online casinos had surged to over $830 million and players across the globe were fast cottoning on to the conveniences and advantages that these digital establishments had to offer. Along with casino online sites growing in popularity, sports betting sites also started to emerge and in 1996 the first virtual sportsbook was launched. This allowed players to take almost all their gambling activities online and geographical location and time was removed from the equation as everyone was able to get in on the action whenever they desired.
The casino online and sportsbook industry continues to thrive and although there may have been many changes in laws and legislations and regulations, players continue to bet in an environment that’s easily accessible and incredibly convenient.