It was once impossible to talk to a friend on the other side of the world in real-time. It was once impossible to send said friend money instantly. Both became a possibility, and through the technology that we used to do this, playing your favorite casino game in the comfort of your own home with real money became a possibility.
Online casinos created a new way for players to enjoy the thrill of gambling anywhere and at any time. But how did this all start? What did online casinos have to face to get to where they are now as an industry? Let’s explore online casinos and their history.
The Conception of Online Casinos
There is an on-going debate on who was the first online casino? Many think it to be “InterCasino,” but a contender to the title of “First Online Casino,” “Gaming Club,” has had its name thrown into the ring.
Both started in the mid-’90s, with the latter also claiming to have established the first online gambling software provider in 1995. Whether the first was InterCasino or Gaming Club, they are the giants of the industry that pioneered and lit the way for many more to start and grow.
The Caribbean’s Contribution to the Industry
It was the countries of Antigua and Barbuda that passed the act known as the “Free Trade and Processing Act.” If not for these countries and this act, online casinos might have needed to stay as an underground industry and might have never grown to become what it is today. Online casinos were allowed to open legally in these two Caribbean countries and provide their services not only to the citizens of these countries but beyond their borders as well.
Hurdles of Online Casinos
The “Free Trade and Processing Act” allowed casinos to open and provide their online casino services. Unfortunately, they were given complete freedom. This would have been good if not for smaller, less reliable, and devious casinos.
The Gaming Commission
To protect the clients and the reputation of legitimate online casinos, The “Kahnawake Gaming Commission” was established in ’96. This commission regulated everything gambling-related online, both in the sides of the players and the casinos, issuing gaming licenses to online gaming sites. This allowed a way for online casinos to show they are certified to serve their clients and put first-time online gambling players at ease.
The Speed Problem
For those of you who remember 56K-Modems and how long it took to download a couple of megabytes in the early days of the internet, knows how this could be a problem. Speed was an issue, the lack of bandwidth, limited the services of the online casino, yet they remain resilient! Only time could fix this problem, and at the turn of the century, speeds improved.
The UIGEA (Accords)
I wish I could tell a story that would rival that of the fracturing of the Avengers… Unfortunately, the story of the UIGEA (Accords) isn’t like that. Officially it was a law due to the U.S.’s need to regulate all gambling, making it so that online casinos have a hard time to cater to U.S. citizens. But many alleged stories of lobbying and corruption played a great part in its formation. Things might change in the future, though, as the view of the rest of the world on online gambling is very different from a decade ago.
The online casino industry has faced many hurdles since its conception, and many hurdles it will face still, as the world makes more internet laws.