Starting in 1994, Online Casinos were offered by Microgaming, the first casino software provider, and were based out of the Caribbean. The Caribbean passed a free trade gambling law which allowed this to be the main location for online gambling sites. The Caribbean today is still the central location for online gambling websites.
The following year, CryptoLogic developed software that made it possible to make and receive payments over the internet which then lead to being able to gamble via the world-wide-web. Together, Microgaming and CryptoLogic created the first online casino – InterCasino. InterCasino has since paid out at least $3 billion.
Entry of Progressive Jackpots
In 1998 was the launch of progressive jackpots, which is where the jackpot adds up until someone finally wins it all, by Microgaming in the form of slots. Also in 1998, Arizona Senator Jon Kyl introduced the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act which tried to ban online gambling in the U.S., and the bill failed. The industry at this time was generating $834.5 million a year. The year 1999 marks the entrance of multiplayer judi online in online casinos which lead to more growth. In 2000, Crytologic became listed on NASDAQ.
2001 – the largest progressive jackpot won to date was awarded by The Sands of the Caribbean online casino.
2002 – the largest jackpot to date reaches $1 million followed by a win of a $1.5 million at another online casino.
2002 – The industry grows to be worth $4.5 billion.
2003 – Chris Moneymaker emerges from the world of online poker into the world of traditional poker and goes on to win $2.5 million winning the World Series of Poker.
2005 – A new progressive jackpot record is reached totaling $2 million. The industry is worth $12 billion annually at this time.
A Governing Body
In 2003, the group eCOGRA was formed as a regulatory body over internet casinos with the goal of protecting the users of these websites. It has been respected as authority ever since. Live gaming is also developed in 2003.
In 2004, the WTO (World Trade Organization) decides that gambling should not be off limits to US citizens especially considering that United States’ residents makes up 51% of all income brought in from online casinos in the Caribbean. Revenues this year were up to $8.5 billion for the industry.
In 2006, after many failed attempts, the gestures to ban online gambling for Americans is successful and George Bush signs the bill. In 2007, Europe shifts the market from the U.S. to their countries and legalizes online gambling completely.
So, what’s next for online casinos?
With the election of President Barack Obama, there is hope that online casinos will be made legal to U.S. residents again. Most sites won’t even allow players to play their games while banks and credit card companies have put restrictions on their card which restrict any deposits or withdrawals for online gambling sites. It is hoped for though with the new president, there will be new opportunities for Americans to enjoy their online gambling once again.