Online Casino History
Google the words ‘Online Casino’ and you’re going to get a whopping 18,900,000 pages in all. The number of sites that pertain to or are related to online casinos is dizzying. In fact, today, there are approximately 500 online casinos in all, not counting their affiliates and subsidiaries. They’re cropping up everywhere, and the competition for players is fierce. And as time goes by, these casinos’ offers only get better and better as the competition gets fiercer and fiercer. As of now, the revenue generated by this business is a whopping $49 billion annually.
But when exactly did this online casino thing start?
The Humble Beginnings
The answer – August 18 1995, the date when the first online casino was published. Internet Casinos, Inc. was the first ever online casino to grace the internet. This site had 18 games in all and offered people a chance to access the National Indian Lottery. The ICI was based in the Turks and Caicos Islands. ICI was immediately followed by The Gaming Club and the Intertops Casino and Sports Book. These two sites also claim to be the first although ICI is generally accepted as the one who holds the title. The Intertops Casino and Sports Book is, however, the first ever site to host an online sports book.
There are some who say that Cryptologic is the first ever online Casino and that it started in the year 1994. This company was also the one that focused more on software development. Later in its career, Cryptologic became the first site to provide cash deposit facilities.
During the year 1996, sports betting became even more popular and a company called Interactive Gaming and Communications Corp also managed to open an online casino. What set this site apart, however, was that it took bets from people who conducted their business through telephones using a toll free satellite line.
Issues with Online Casinos
By this time, there were already problems cropping up over the legality of such institutions. The US generally prohibited it, but it was always hard trying to get a hold of the guilty especially when, technically, they cannot be touched due to different jurisdictions. It was Canada that helped fix this problem. They formed the Kanhawake Gaming Commission, an organization which was devoted to making sure that all of the dealings of online casinos were transparent and just.
Online casinos are still situated on the grey areas of the law as of now, but their presence is generally accepted, and even countries that prohibit them usually just turn a blind eye.