Fascinating Facts about Online Gambling

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There is really no denying that online gambling is becoming more and more popular in recent years, and if you search the internet, you will already find dozens of different online casinos and betting websites that are available for veteran and beginner players and bettors to choose from.

The popularity of online casinos is mainly attributed to their convenience, as they allow people to gain access to legitimate casino games like Lord of the Ocean and various betting houses in the comfort of their homes. So, they don’t have to go to a land-based casino or betting house just to do some gambling, as they can just open their laptops or smartphones and bet or play games there.

While online casinos are incredibly popular today, not many people know about the intricacies of the websites. These intricacies could include their origins, as well as facts that contribute to their success. To know much more, here are some interesting facts about online gambling.

Origins of Online Casinos

ordinary roulette wheel

The origins of fully operational online casinos can be traced back to 1994, when Antigua and Barbuda, a sovereign island country located in the West Indies, passed the Free Trade & Processing Act, which allowed licenses to be granted to businesses that would like to open online casinos in the country. However, the first online gambling venue (not fully online) opened to the public in October 1994, and this venue was for the ticketing of the Liechtenstein International Lottery.

Through an unspecified chain of events, Microgaming, a gambling software company headquartered in the Isle of Man located between Ireland and Great Britain, created the first fully functional gambling software in the same year the Free Trade & Processing Act was passed.

Microgaming

The creator of the first fully functional gambling software, Microgaming, was founded in the same year they created the gambling program. Besides being one of the pioneers of online gambling, Microgaming is also known for giving the largest online casino payout as of 2021. The payout, which amounts to $6,374,434, was given to a person that was playing a progressive online slot game called Mega Moolah. For those who don’t know what a progressive slot is, it is a type of online slot game wherein the prizes within the game will get bigger as you continue your winning streak.

CryptoLogic

Another pioneer of the online gambling industry is CryptoLogic, which is known for being one of the first licensees of online casinos. Their first online casino, which is also considered as the first fully operating gambling website, is InterCasino.

CryptoLogic was founded in 1995 by brothers Mark and Andrew Rivkin in the basement of their parents’ house in Dublin, Ireland. Although CryptoLogic is mainly known for online gambling today, the brothers’ intention in creating the company was to find a real-life application in securing an online financial transaction system, which could be similar to PayPal.

InterCasino

The first online casino in existence, InterCasino, was founded in 1996 and is currently a part of the InterCasino Group that is operated by CryptoLogic. The company was initially launched in Antigua by an Ohio bookmaker named William “Billy” Scott. However, in 1998, Scot was charged by US prosecutors for hosting an illegal sports betting platform online. As of 2021, InterCasino is operating in Malta, wherein they first launched InterCasinoPoker in 2002.

Amaya Gaming Group’s Acquisition of CryptoLogic

In 2012, the Amaya Gaming Group acquired CryptoLogic for $35.8 million. The company then sold CryptoLogic’s business-to-consumer subsidiary called WagerLogic to Goldstar Acquisitionco Inc for $70 million in 2014. The acquisition of CryptoLogic included popular online gambling sites such as InterBingo, InterCasino, and InterPoker

The Amaya Gaming Group is an online gambling and gaming company that was founded in 2001 and was headquartered in Toronto, Canada. In 2017, The Amaya Gaming Group changed its name to The Stars Group Inc. Unfortunately, The Stars Group became defunct in 2020, and most of its properties, including InterCasino and InterPoker, were sold to Flutter Entertainment, an Irish gaming conglomerate, in May of the said year.

Sudden Boom of Online Gambling

Cards and Chips

In 1996, it was reported that there were only 15 gambling websites in the world. However, in just one year, the number of gambling sites increased to 200. Many experts believed that the sudden boom of online gambling in the late 90s was attributed to the availability of personal computers and the internet, which was becoming more accessible during the said period. In 1998, it was revealed that the overall revenue of online gambling websites had exceeded $830 million.

Growth of Online Gambling

In 2001, it was estimated that the number of players that are playing in online casinos around the world had reached 8 million. Even though there are various legal challenges that the industry faced over the years, online gambling has continued to grow as many more people are beginning to discover the convenience and other advantages of online casinos and betting websites. In 2008, the worldwide online gambling revenue was reported to have reached $21 billion, and it was speculated that the revenue of the industry might double or triple by the end of the 2010s.

Tax Havens

Many of the online casinos that we see today are based in tax havens, which is a term used to describe countries that have low rates of taxation for foreign investors and business owners. There are three tax havens in Europe where a lot of online casinos are headquartered, and these three countries are Alderney, Malta, and Gibraltar. In Asia, China’s Special Administrative Region of Macau is regarded as a tax haven, and it has been the headquarters of various gambling websites for many years. Interestingly, Macau is the only area in China where casinos are legal.

Those are some of the most interesting facts about online casinos that we can give you. Through this article, we hope that you learned more about the origins of online gambling and the pioneers of the industry that are instrumental in the creation and popularization of the platform.

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