Modern technologies are rapidly developing and today, those things that 30 years ago were equated with fantastic dreams are widely used in everyday life. Nowadays, the World Wide Web includes almost every home; it has connected most of the world's inhabitants into a single social network, though no more than half a century has passed since its inception. Today, we communicate, work and have fun mostly online. In this article, we tell you about how the first online casinos appeared in the web and literally revived the huge gambling industry.
The First Online Casinos — Harbingers of the Revolution
In 1994, the British Microgaming created the first gaming platform for the net gambling websites, on the basis of which it was possible to build a full-fledged online casino. We do not know the exact date of the appearance of the first website where gambling entertainment for money was provided, but, presumably, in 1996, about 15 such projects were already registered. In 1994, Antigua and Barbuda issued a bill according to which any operator could legally obtain a license for the provision of gambling services. With the advent of the first online bookmaker office (1997), major corporations saw the enormous potential of gambling online. It was then that the rapid growth and development of online casinos began.
The First Progressive Jackpot
A year later, online casinos introduced the concept of a progressive jackpot to the world. The essence of the progressive jackpot is fairly simple and extremely attractive for players: a certain percentage of the money lost is accumulated into a single prize fund, which can go to absolutely any player! Potentially huge winnings excited the minds of the gamblers and created a smart advertising campaign for gambling enthusiasts around the world.
In 1999, in addition to the main players such as Microgaming and Cryptologic, in the online market of gambling, a dark horse appeared — it was a young and ambitious PlayTech project. The newcomer managed to break into the gambling market with lightning speed and became one of the most sought-after corporations in this market segment. Increased competition led gambling to develop at an even faster pace: new applications start to appear in the casinos, the maximum win amount constantly increased, and the conditions for the game got better every day. In 2001, a record win was about $415 thousand, and a year later someone managed to hit the $1,5 million jackpot! Today, the amount of $10 million is not the limit for the jackpot.
At first, the new market segment was not regulated by the legislative framework (at that time, it simply did not exist), so customers could only hope for the honesty of the operators. But in 2002, with the support of 888 and Microgaming, an international non-profit organization eCOGRA was established (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance), which took responsibility for creating unified standards in the online gambling industry, for the certification of Internet casinos and started defending the interests of players.
The emergence of this company has served as a serious impetus for many global manufacturing corporations who have attended to the quality of software and the comfort of working with their product. Another guarantee of the integrity of many online gambling establishments is the activity of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which is among the four most rated auditors of the planet.
In 2003, the total turnover of all online casinos in the world exceeded $8,5 billion, most of which was obtained thanks to players from the United States of America. In the US, for a long time the government wanted to adopt a bill on regulation of online gambling, but in 2006, the current president of the country, George Bush, took even more radical measures and banned online gambling at the legislative level. For the next 3 years in a row, the Democrats tried to abolish this restriction with all their might, but nothing came of it, and only today there have been some shifts for the better.
Such restrictions cause significant harm to large online operators, but they all quickly accept the new rules of the game and do not stop developing. By that time, the size of the largest jackpot reached $8 million, and winnings of $4– $6 million became a pleasant routine for the global gambler community.
Now in the world wide web, there are more than 15 thousand online casinos, and each of them offers the range of services several times larger than the list of available games in a land-based casino. In addition, in most online casinos, you can play with live dealers in real time, that is, you can play the most popular games with real croupiers online. New slots have many advantages over the outdated “one-armed bandits,” in particular, in new slots, the payout percentage reaches 98% sometimes.
Online gambling is still prohibited in many countries, but about this issue, the debate on legalization does not subside because of the desire not to miss multi-million-dollar profits. Politicians are torn between the desire to protect people who cannot resist gambling, the availability of online services exacerbates the situation on this issue, and replenish the country's budget with the income from online gambling.
Without a doubt, every year, the number of countries that will lift the prohibitions and restrictions on online gambling in all their manifestations will grow. Most likely, online gambling will be under the state control and will be trapped in a specific legal framework, but this will only protect players and ordinary citizens who be able safely plunge into the favorite entertainment.