Online gambling

A brief history of online gambling

Today, the online gambling industry is valued at just over $57 billion, and the history of online casinos dates back to 1994 in Antigua and Barbuda, not far from Guadeloupe. Online gambling sites have gone from 15 to 200 in just one year. Since then, the popularity of these websites has steadily increased.

In this discussion, we present a brief history of online gambling.


As you already know, land-based casinos are the basis of online casinos. In the 1970s, physical casinos moved from mechanical systems to innovative systems that improved the user experience. Even though the programs offered outdated graphics for today’s standards, they paved the way for the digital revolution of modern casinos.

The first software offered virtual blackjack games. Over time, displays have dominated gaming, although this technology required constant tweaking.

The arrival of the Internet

Even though land-based casinos offered the first digital technology in the 90s, players were unlikely to bet on casino computers because the numbers were extremely low. They weren’t as regulated as they are today, which is why many online casinos from the 1990s are no longer in operation. The advent of the Internet disrupted systems globally, and thousands of people could now access gaming systems anywhere.

Currently, the Internet allows users to access gaming solutions with optimal coverage.

A brief history of online gambling

Gambling commissions

The Free Trade and Processing Zones Act represented a significant shift in creating legal structures for players to gamble safely online. The territory of Antigua and Barbuda was the first to issue licenses to online gambling operators who had to meet certain conditions before registration.

Currently, the law is perhaps the cornerstone of legal online gambling. Gaming giant Microgaming was one of the first to be fired following the signing of this law.

The Isle of Man is another independent territory which has founded its gaming commission. In 2003, eCOGRA or the Electronic Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation Act was created to regulate the business of online gambling operators.

The company guarantees the protection of players, good conduct between operators and the fairness of games. If you are an ardent gamer, you have most likely come across the eCOGRA brand logo on websites or game providers around the world.

The arrival of online poker games

The first online poker games appeared in 1998, and multiplayer online gambling followed a year later. As a result, more opportunities for player engagement arose, giving rise to MMORPGs or massively multiplayer online role-playing games.

Mobile Online Casinos

In 2005, the first mobile online casino was launched by Playtech, where players could play using their smartphones. Currently, most online casinos have downloadable apps that users can install on their devices and play anywhere on the go.

History of game software providers

iGaming software is what supports modern online casinos. Every gambling website has several gambling suppliers who source casino products. Examples of software vendors include; Microgaming, RealTime Gaming, Playtech and NetEnt.

A brief history of online gambling

billion dollar industry

In 1998, the Internet had over 700 online casinos where users could play for real money and win. Additionally, online casinos earned up to $2.2 billion in revenue in 2000.

The online gambling industry was already profitable in 2008, bringing in $21 billion. In 2010 there were over 865 online casinos available. Over time, online casinos have continued to attract many players ready to wager huge amounts of money and win big. For example, in 2011, a student from Norway won an incredible €11.7 million on progressive jackpot slots.

In 2013, $10 million was wagered using smartphones. In the same year, social media casino games accounted for 1/5th of global gambling activity, with a market worth no less than $1.6 billion.

Global presence

Despite the popularity of online casinos and laws governing gambling, some countries like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates do not allow online and land-based establishments.

Countries like Denmark and the UK have legalized online gambling. On the other hand, Canada does not allow home casinos to provide gambling products to their players.


Without a doubt, online gambling has come a long way. Over thirty years ago, you visited a land-based casino and played real games with dealers. Now all you need is a stable internet connection, a computer or a smartphone, and you can play endlessly. Indeed, you can bet anywhere on the road with your smart devices.

Online games are not just about winning, but also a form of entertainment. Along with colorful graphics and video slots, players are immersed in a casino-like environment where they feel like they are playing in a land-based casino.

Vendors and developers compete with each other to improve the quality and gaming experience for users.