For those of us who grew up with the internet, it seems weird to imagine a world without online casinos, social media, news sites, and Google. Many people may be surprised to learn that online casinos are still relatively new, and some people around the world still don’t have access to this technology or these fun games.
This industry has added huge amounts of profit into the economies where it ha been legalised, and more and more countries continue to see the benefits of allowing residents to gamble online.
Antigua and Barbuda was the first place where online gambling was legalised, and online operators were officially allowed to get a license so players could gamble online. Unfortunately, the software was full of bugs and security holes, so Microgaming came up with software that was much easier to use (and faster) and Cyptologic solved the security issues with encrypted software so hackers couldn’t steal data.
The first ever money wager was bet on Intercasino, and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission was formed soon after, ensuring that the industry would be regulated and have licensing rules.
Many people who visit real casinos like to play a variety of games, including slots, so in 1998, Microgaming launched Cash Splash, and online slot machine. Soon after, the internet saw the first ever poker room, and by 1998 players could find more than 700 casinos on the internet.
By 2002, the industry was booming, with online casinos making $2.2 billion in revenue each year. Americans were big players, since many other countries hadn’t yet legalised online gambling, and this continued until the US senate introduced the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act which changed everything.
All of a sudden, it was illegal for banks and credit card companies to allow any transactions made on online gambling sites, so most international operators quickly left the United States and moved to countries without these regulations, ensuring that revenue was $21 billion annually by 2008, and there were almost 900 online casinos to choose from.
In 2011, a number of gambling websites were shut down by the United States government after violating the UIGEA, but by that stage, numerous other countries had embraced online gambling. Now, there are a number of great websites available for both beginners and more experienced gamblers, such as the Irish casino review and bonus offers that are a great way to get started if you’re new to the industry.
If you’re planning to try online gambling for the first time, look for websites that give beginners sing up bonuses, and spend some time playing without real money while you get the hang of things. Once you have an idea about how it all works, you can get started with betting real money, but be sure to give yourself a daily limit and only bet what you can afford to lose- it’s important that you stay safe when playing online.