The History of Casino Gambling Online


In 1994 the government of Antigua and Barbuda passed a law permitting the issuance of gaming licenses. It is no accident that this event occurred at the dawn of the popularized internet. Throughout most of the United States, state governments tend to keep strict restrictions on the type of gambling allowed if they allow any at all. Antigua and Barbuda provided the legal platform needed for entrepreneurs and developers to get gaming online, and people in a state where gambling is illegal can still today access an online casino or poker room licensed in Antigua and Barbuda.


Developers at Microgaming provided the next ingredient: relatively fast, stable, and well designed software for application in online gambling. This software covered everything from poker rooms to bonus slots and has made significant leaps and bounds in the past decade with ever more advanced user features and graphics that seek to take full advantage of broadband technology.


Of course, security was (and still is) a major concern. Everyone understood the potential dangers of identity theft made possible by networked technology, and if online casinos were to ever become viable, some sort of reliable security regimen would be needed. CryptoLogic provided just this in 1995.


Both of these industry founders, though still the industry leaders, must now compete with other online gambling software and security developers. Both Playtech and RTG are recognized as top-notch online gambling software developers, the former being notable for taking some of Microgaming’s clientele not long after its release. Verisign now provides an alternative to the CryptoLogic security platform. This modest growth in competition is but one indicator of online gambling’s burgeoning popularity.


With the gaming license obtained and all the software and security protocols finally in place, Microgaming worked closely with CryptoLogic to open Inter Casino, the first casino online, and the first virtual bet was made on its servers in 1996.


Although it is only 10 years old, online gambling is to some extent taken for granted by many of its patrons. In fact, even before Inter Casino switched on its servers some US congressmen tried to establish regulations and restrictions that would, in effect, close access to online gambling to all US citizens. Perhaps the most outspoken politician engaged in this anti-gambling activity was Senator Jon Kyle, a Republican representing the state of Arizona. After a number of court battles Inter Casino was given the green light, and all of Jon Kyl’s anti-gambling bills suffered defeat in Congress despite the outspoken minority of Senators and Representatives who endorsed it. 


While the average online gamer would hope that was the end of efforts to ban online gambling, online gambling’s opponents are still at work. Unable to outright restrict access, some federal Representatives are now pursuing legislation to criminalize credit wire transactions between online gamers and online casinos or poker rooms. One usually need not search long online to see what legislation is in the works. Much of the time, it seems, there are anti-gambling bills and amendments being proposed.


Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of individuals log on to online casinos and poker rooms every day. There are now literally hundreds of locations on the internet that host either casino gaming, poker, or sports betting of all variety. As the online gambling industry continues to boom, it is doubtful governments like those of the United States will be able to institute tough restrictions any time soon. In fact, far more likely, governments will seek to develop ways to make online gambling wins and profits taxable income. In the meantime, enjoy the tax free winnings while they last!



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