The inaugural real money online casino was opened by InterCasino, who are still a giant in the industry, in 1996 – making online casinos almost as old as the internet itself! Almost 25 years on, and they are more popular now than ever, with tons of online casinos opening every year, like Megalotto, which launched earlier this year! Let’s take a look at rise of the online casino from the very beginning, right up to the current day!
The introduction of online casinos can be linked to two major events, which took place in 1994. The first one being the passing of the Free Trade & Processing act by the Antigua and Barbuda government. This gave this tiny independent commonwealth country – which is positioned at the meeting point of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea – the ability to permit licenses to companies that wanted to form online casinos. Meanwhile, thousands of kilometres across the North Atlantic Ocean, a software company, called Microgaming, was opened in the Isle of Man, a small British Crown dependency located between England and Ireland.
It might have been a small company, on a tiny island, but their ambition was huge! Microgaming was responsible for the world’s first online casino – which was called ‘The Gaming Club.’ It had a very different look, and feel, to today’s digital casinos, but it still gave people the opportunity to play their favourite games from their desktop.
A year later, CryptoLogic, who specialised in the transactions of money on the internet, created InterCasino, and they added the missing piece to the jigsaw – the ability to play with, and win, real money! It’s also one of the first online casinos that is still operating to this day.
Online casinos rising in popularity
Shortly after the creation of The Gaming Club, and InterCasino, people started to realise the massive potential of online casinos, and how popular they really could be! It didn’t take long for other companies to follow in their footsteps, and more and more online casinos started popping-up across the World Wide Web. In coalition with the demand for online casinos, were calls for better quality games. So, companies like Playtech, who are still one of the world’s leading gaming developers, started rolling out Slots with videogame-esque graphics and whopping jackpots, whilst other popular classic games, like Roulette and Blackjack, have also been given revamps over the years.
The introduction of live games
As technology got better, so did the gaming experience! Online casinos introduced live games with real-life dealers. The first live casino only had one dealer, and a single table, which only offered Blackjack. However, as live casinos grew in popularity – along with regular punters working all hours – the thrilling action soon became available 24 hours a day, seven days a week! Logging onto your online account soon became like going down to your local brick-and-mortar casino, or jetting off to Las Vegas!
This is how most of us know, and love, online casinos today! With the whopping advancements in cell phones, and tablets, playing your favourite casino games became easier than ever. Casino apps have made it possible to play Slots, Blackjack, Roulette, and so on, from the comfort of your sofa, or on your commute to work!