History of Online Casinos and How They Got Started

September 17, 2012

It was inevitable that as the internet became more popular, the concept of applying "real-world" models of commerce was going to become more popular too.

That is how the logical birth of online casinos came. It made sense, inasmuch as players could do the same thing over the internet that they could in a land-based casino, more or less, with the advancements in technology. All that was needed was a way to make it happen, including the development of the software.

The emergence of online casino gaming can be attributed, in some part, to the passage of something called the Free Trade and Processing Zone Act in the small independent country of Antigua and Barbuda, which happened in 1994. Since United States customers were indeed a desirable target (and remain so), but this form of gaming was never going to be allowed within U.S. borders, that piece of legislation permitted operators to do business under an actual licensure from a jurisdiction from which it was legal.


There was going to be a demand, and two companies, Microgaming and Cryptologic, quickly formed to satisfy it. They literally developed games for the computer that simulated what one could experience within an actual land-based casino, and they also developed ways in which the customer could conduct transactions for purposes of buying in on the action.

Other jurisdictions followed the lead of Antigua and Barbuda. A company called Internet Casinos Inc. was the first to open up an online casino, licensed in the Turks and Caicos, and it had less than twenty games to offer. That was in 1995, and a year later Intercasino followed and became a very big operation.

Microgaming had originally gotten into the business to operate a casino themselves, but they soon decided that their niche was in serving the industry as a whole, so they went on to become the leading software designer and developer for online casinos. Technology advanced rather quickly, and soon there were sportsbook, bingo and racebook platforms to reel in all of the interested gambling audience.

It is understandable that while the games may have operated relatively smoothly (certainly with the development of new technologies like Flash this would improve), the transaction itself was going to cause some consternation for those who were not all that familiar with safety and security measures. But as time passed, those problems were addressed and rectified, and online casinos became an explosive success and a great form of entertainment for everybody to enjoy.

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