In today’s day and age, the internet has become an integral component of our lives, and it is hard to imagine a world without it. We rely on it for so many aspects of our daily lives that functioning without it is now an inconceivable notion.
While, on the one hand, it has integrated so intricately into our lives, on the other hand, it has paved the way for many industries and sectors to grow and flourish. The online gambling industry is a prime example. Who would have thought that from its humble beginnings in the 90s, it would become a massive billion-dollar empire one day? One may wonder how the industry grew to become so big. Let’s look at the history of online gambling and its growth and evolution through time.
History of online gambling
In 1994, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda passed the Free Trade and Processing Act, which allowed the country to issue licenses for online casinos. Around the same time, a software company by the name of Microgaming was launched in the Isle of Man.
Microgaming went on to become the developer of the world’s first functional online casino, which was named The Gaming Club. The use of the internet was not very common around that time, but the site was well-received. Gaming Club was quite different from the online casinos we see today and did not offer games for cash.
A year later, CryptoLogic, another software company, was launched, which developed InterCasino, the first online casino that allowed players to play for real money. CryptoLogic made major headway in the money transactions aspect of online 꽁머니사이트 and made the process swift and smooth.
Thus when we consider the history of online gambling, both Gaming Club and InterCasino can be regarded as pioneers in the field.
The popularity of online gambling
Within the first two to three years of the launch of the first casino site, more than 200 players entered the field, while the total revenue from gambling in online casinos and sports betting rose to $1 billion. Fast forward to 2020, the industry has reached a remarkable size with estimated revenues of $123.4 Billion, while it is expected to scale to $153.2 billion by 2026.
Over the years that followed, many more players entered the field. Some stood the test of time, while others were wiped out. In addition to InterCasino and Gaming Club, the other two prominent players were InterTops and English Harbor Casino in the early years.
Gaming developers continued to introduce more features in the games while sites introduced more variety to lure in more players. The growth of online gambling has been further fueled by the increased use of the internet and mobile devices and an emphasis on legalizing online gambling in various areas of the world where it was previously strictly prohibited.
The industry gained more traction during the pandemic as land-based facilities were shut down, major sporting events were canceled, and people were confined to their homes, leading to increased internet use.
In addition, the advent of cryptocurrencies and other technological advancements, including virtual and augmented reality and more secure payment mechanisms, are contributing to the remarkable growth of online casinos.