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History of online gambling


When it comes to gambling in general it’s impossible to determine the origin and history of specific casino games. This is simply because forms of gambling have been present for thousands of years, even before people learned how to write. But when it comes to online gambling we have pretty accurate data and we can see how the industry got to the point it is today. In this article we will try to capture the history of online gambling, by covering the most significant years when this industry made a leap forward. Let’s begin.



1994, the first ever online casino license. Not too many players may know this but it was actually  Antigua and Barbuda that first granted a license for online casinos to operate from their territory. This was made possible thanks to the  Free Trade & Processing Act, which basically allowed companies to set up and operate online casinos from the territory of Antigua and Barbuda.

1994, the first ever online casino goes online. In 1994 the first ever online casino in the world goes live, by the name of The Gaming Club. The casino is very much online even today and is among the most reputable online casinos in the world. As expected they are powered by Microgaming software and offer their full games collection. The casino has undergone massive changes during the years, the most notable one being to move away from their Viper download platform. Today players can access the casino in instant play mode and from their mobile device.

1996, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission is formed. The online gambling industry was already born, so few jurisdictions recognized the potential and wanted to get in on the action. In 1996 the Kahnawake Gaming Commission was formed, issuing operating licenses to new online casinos. The commission was formed to keep the online gambling industry regulated and fair.

1998, the first online poker site is launched. Online poker is a very popular game across online casinos even today. The first hand in online poker history was dealt on January 1st, 1998. The poker site name was Planet Poker, with their own Planet Poker software. We can easily say that this site was the pioneer who made the online poker craze possible in the following years.

1999, the first multiplayer gaming software is introduced. Yup, 1999 was a very important year for the online gambling industry. Multiplayer gaming was introduced allowing players to take part in various tournaments and compete against each other. Players also had the option for a group chat where they could talk to other players in real time.

2003, eCOGRA is formed. This year was marked with the creation of eCOGRA, which became one of the most reputable independent testing agencies in the world. Their job was to ensure that the games were fair and random and that the casino operated in a professional manner. The eCOGRA seal of approval soon became a recognizable trademark for reputable online casinos.


2006, the UIGEA act is passed in the United States. 2006 was a dark year for the online gambling industry. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed on the territory of the United States, which “prohibits gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the Internet and that is unlawful under any federal or state law.” This basically meant that all online casinos were banned from operating on US soil.

2006, Evolution Gaming goes live. At the same time 2006 is also one of the most important years for the online gambling industry. Evolution Gaming was formed and introduced the live dealer software, which changed the face of the industry forever.

2012, NetEnt changes the industry. Net Entertainment made a big comeback on the world gambling scene with their new games collection. But NetEnt casinos also brought bonus promotions with free spins and instant payouts. You will find plenty of them at

2013, mobile casinos are introduced. Mobile casinos were semi functional for a long time. In order to play the games you would need to have Flash on your mobile phone installed, something which was not possible for iOS users. But with the introduction of the HTML5 protocol all mobile operating systems could now access the casinos and the casino games. This marked the rise of mobile casinos, which account to close to 50% of all monetary transactions at online casinos today.

2016, Microgaming releases their first Virtual Reality Games. This year marked yet another novelty by Microgaming. They introduced Virtual Reality games via the Oculus Rift technology. This allows the player to access the casino games in VR which is the next logical step in the online gambling industry.  


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