Everything We Know About The First Online Casino
The pioneers of the internet knew that it would change the way we did everything. But they probably had no idea how drastically it would change our lives.
If you had told someone 25 years ago that we would be able to play live casino games from our homes using a computer that was smaller than a book – they would have laughed at you.
In the last quarter of a century, a lot has changed in the world of casinos and we are going to explore that history today.
History Of The Online Casino
Gambling is not a new activity, according to historians, we have been doing it for at least the last 4000 years.
Online casinos are, however, incredibly recent as far as the history of gambling goes. They have only been around for 25-30 years. When the internet was becoming easier for the public to access, gambling was one of the first industries to fully embrace going online.
One of the real problems with the early internet was that despite the fact that historic moments were happening every day, no one was recording everything. Most of what we know about the birth of online gambling comes from print media and anecdotal evidence.
The evidence suggests that the first online casino was created about halfway through 1994. Two companies claim they were involved in making the first online casino Cryptologic and Microgaming. However, we have no record of what this first casino was called and if it still exists.
Very few of the casinos launched in the 90s still exist today – although some of the slot games that were created back then are still popular today.
We know that the first casinos started in 1994 because this was the year when Antigua & Barbuda passed its Free Trade & Processing Act – this allowed for gambling sites to be based in their country and get a gambling license.
At the time the online gambling rules in Antigua & Barbuda were not very strict and the country is still associated with problematic casinos because of these laws.
By the end of 1996, it was estimated that there were 15 online casinos running around the world. Then when other countries started to allow online gambling licenses, that year another 170+ casinos opened.
Now, we are not sure how many online casinos there are, it could be in the hundreds of thousands. However, we know that the industry is now worth over $75 billion dollars.
Law Surrounding Online Casinos
Governments were slow to act when online casinos started to pop up, but after many people lost money and were scammed, governments across the world started to clamp down on the industry.
The online gambling industry is now one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world. Many point to this industry at the moment as part of the discussion surrounding the regulation of cryptocurrency.
Many countries around the world have completely banned online gambling and have blocked all online casinos. While others openly encourage online casinos to set up in their country by giving them tax breaks and relaxing their gambling laws.
America has had pretty strict rules on online gambling in the past, but over the last few decades they have been relaxed, it is now up to each state to decide what is and isn’t allowed in for their citizens.
Most states still do not allow online casinos to operate from within them. One of the most popular places in the world to set up online casinos is the United Kingdom. Over the last decade, their laws have become less and less strict and casinos have significant reductions on their taxes over there.
History Of Gambling
Many sites on the internet will tell you that we can date gambling back only as far as the Roman Empire, but this isn’t true. We have much older evidence of gambling and even casino-like buildings being used.
Some of the earliest evidence of gambling we have comes from Ancient China. Historians can date gambling back to at least 2000 BCE in China- that is 2000 years before the founding of the Roman Empire.
But, historians recently found primitive forms of dice in Mesopotamian dig sites – these dice date back to before 3000 BCE.
According to the records of the Chinese, by 1000 BCE gambling houses, what we would now call casinos, were common and frequented by people of all classes.
Pai Gow and Dominos were popular games at the time. The deck of cards is based on the tiles that are used in both of these games.
Gambling really became popular in European countries after the Renaissance. The first casino in the world was opened in Italy in 1638 and was called the Ridotto. After this, attending casinos and gambling halls became the activity of the rich and upper class.
Many of the games that we play today were invented in France in the 18th century and brought to America by French and British soldiers.
Las Vegas, Monte Carlo, and Macau in China are considered the casino capitals of the world.