History of Online Gambling: from Early Internet Times to Nowadays

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Dices on keyboard represent Online Gambling

Internet gambling has developed rapidly and turned into an international industry that unites millions of people and is valued at billions of US dollars. The history of gambling online has had many twists and turns as many legislative bodies have tried to outlaw it since the beginning of the 21st century. But despite all these attempts to ban it, the industry of e-gaming continues to prosper.

The Dawn and Early History of Online Gambling

The online gambling industry appeared at the beginning of the Internet era, and this is also when the first legislative steps were taken. In 1994 Antigua and Barbuda, which is a tiny Caribbean nation with a small population, changed its gambling license, in order to permit foreign bookmakers to accept and process bets across national borders.

Before this, the first fully operable gambling software was created by Microgaming, a company from the Isle of Man, which is still operating as a developer. The games were secured from hacking with software created by CryptoLogic, a company specializing in web security.

In 1996, the Mohawk Territory Kahnawake Gaming Commission was founded in Canada; it regulates a number of online casinos, sportsbook sites, and poker rooms. It was established with the intention of keeping the operations of licensed electronic casinos both transparent and fair.

First Online Gambling Sites

The first e-gambling site called Intertops.com opened in 1996. The same-name company was founded in Austria in 1983 by a bookmaker who used to offer his services illegally. This site offered online sports betting, and the first $50 bet was accepted from a Finnish punter on January 17, 1996.

Intertops Site Logos

Some other gaming sites were launched the same year, the majority of which became very popular as the users quickly understood the advantages of online sports betting and slots. These early sites didn’t offer much of a variety of games; nevertheless, they attracted their audience.

Online Gambling Industry History Chart

Regulation of Online Gambling

In 1999 the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act was introduced, which meant that companies could not provide any online gambling product to U.S. citizens. But in the end, it didn’t pass.

In 2000, the first Australian Federal Government passed the Interactive Gambling Moratorium Act, which ensured any electronic casino not licensed before 2000 was made illegal.

The same year, the U.S. Department of Justice let the National Association of Broadcasters and the biggest media outlets in America know that accepting ads for online gambling might be illegal. In 2006, Sporting News was fined several million for not dropping gambling ads on the Internet.

Some states have attempted to seize the domain names of such sites, in order to stop illegal online betting. Groups like Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association actively opposed such court orders.

In 2012 a new York Federal Judge declared that online poker was a game of skill, not chance; so poker became exempt from the Federal Wire Act of 1961.

In 2015 efforts to allow internet gambling in the US have stalled; following a campaign backed by casino owners, who were against industry efforts to permit more widespread wagering on smartphones and laptops.

Types of Online Gambling

Types of Games in Online Casino

Online poker is poker played over the Internet by various players; it includes variations like Texas Hold’em, Razz, Seven-Card Stud, Omaha, Horse, and others. It is cheaper to hold tournaments online; as the cost of running brick-and-mortar poker rooms is high, and poker creates almost no revenue for the casinos; as the players are competing with each other, not the casino! In 2003 the Internet poker experienced a sudden boom after the player Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker with a price of $2.5 million.

Online casinos include a wide variety of table games such as Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, as well as slots. You can find thousands of electronic casinos on the web; they vary in the selection of games, payment methods, and design.

Betting includes sports betting, novelty betting, and horse race betting. As for sports betting, bookmakers have already started to create their own websites; indeed, by now, there are actually hundreds of websites offering betting on various sports. In 2002, live betting was introduced, it made it possible placing bets during the happening of a sport event. In novelty betting, also called proposition bets, special bets, or alternative bets, you can bet on a range of outcomes and events, such as weather predictions, presidential elections, or endings of TV series. Horse race betting is like regular horse betting but with the bets placed on the web.

ESports also is known as electronic sports or competitive gaming, are a form of competition where individual players or teams compete in video games. The most popular esports are Counter-Strike, Starcraft, Halo, Dota 2, Call of Duty, and League of Legends.

Blockchain: the Future of Online Gambling

Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that is based on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether. Nowadays, many casinos are built using blockchain technology, where every transaction is stored, along with the records of all the games and bets, plus all the winnings and payout results. Blockchain can be a solution to the trust issues that some online casinos have, as some percentage of users believe that online casinos may be rigged. These new casinos are 100% provably fair and can offer a lower house edge.

Top Questions People Ask About Online Gambling History

  • Why is online gambling illegal in the US?

It is never legal to gamble on a website based in the United States. Websites set up outside of the US are legal. The online gambling in the US is illegal due to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act from 2006.

  • In what states can you gamble online?

You can play at an online casino in the following states: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware. Online poker can be played in Delaware, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The online sportsbooks are considered legal in Rhode Island, New Jersey, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Oregon.

  • Can you gamble online in the United States?

You can gamble on the web in the United States in any one of the Internet casinos that are situated outside of the country. Individual residents of the U.S. will not be prosecuted if they make virtual bets at offshore casinos. However, you cannot run your own Internet casino that is based in the United States.

  • How many online gambling sites are there?

It is impossible to calculate the exact quantity of online gambling sites on the web, as new ones appear every day. There are thousands of them, so you can choose according to your tastes.

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