The last couple of years have seen a significant growth of the online gambling industry. With this said, however, online gambling already began with the Free Trade and Processing Zone Act in 1994, which was passed by the government of Antigua Barbuda. Until today a considerable amount of online casinos function under this legislation.
In the following the highlights of online gambling history shall be described – from its early days in 1994 until the end of 2003.
Founding of Microgaming (One of the industry’s biggest software developers as well as suppliers).
Founding of Cryptologic – a company that developed software to safely process transactions
A system for online casino operations was developed by Boss Specialtidningar AB, while Microgaming focuses on the development of online casino technology. Moreover, the year marks the beginning of operations for Intercasino which asserts that it was the first internet casino that accepted actual money for wagers.
The development of Boss Casinos (transferred to Boss Media AB) is situated in Antigua Barbuda, which, as one of a few countries, sanctions online gambling.
The first online progressive jackpot slot (the so-calles Cash Splash) is introduced by Microgaming. At the same time, the US launches its Internet Gambling Prohibition Act which, however, does not pass. By now, the revenue generated by the gaming industry amunts to $834.5 million.
Australia’s 1st online casino, the Lasseter’s, comes into being and it is estimated that ca. there are about 700 online casinos.
A novel gaming software with multi-player as well as cha functionality is developed.
The Interactive Gambling Moratorium Act is passed by Australian Federal Government, making it illegal for online casinos to operate when these have not been licensed and operating prior to May 2000. Onlý Lasseter’s Online is still allowed to operate under this new legislation.
According to estimates, ca. 680,000 clients use online electronic payment systems betting on the internet.
Moreover, both Gibraltar as well as the Isle of Man start offering licenses for online sports gambling.
It is estimated that around 8 million people have set online bets with real money.
Based on a Nevada legislation, licenced online casinos can now legally operate out of the state while an online slots player wins the biggest online win until now of $414,119 at a Caribbean online casino.
The 1st online casino jackpot win of more than $1 million is announced (playing a progressive slot game at Captain Cooks Casino).
In order to control strict security guidelines for member websites, eCOGRA (eCommerce and Online Gambling Regulation and Assurance) is launched.
Moreover, the US States House of Representatives passes an anti-gambling bill which makes it illegal for payment processing firms to enable online betting transactions.
Also in 2003, Chris Moneymakers wins the Poker World Series although he only played on online betting sites before the competition.
“Live Gaming” is founded. This is a real-time, video-streamed game with live dealers, enabling gamblers to play one-on-one as well as chat with the dealer.