The History of Online Casinos

Forget Orwell’s 1984, 1994 was a ground-breaking year for casino players
The first form of gambling over the internet to really take off was online casinos. In the same year that Antigua and Barbuda passed the pivotal Free Trade and Processing act, 1994, a company called Microgaming was formed.

Microgaming, who now provide games to a number of leading online casinos such as BGO Casino, Unibet and BetVictor claims to have been the very first to provide a fully functional real-money online casino, The Gaming Club.

Other developers have made similar claims and it is difficult to give the definitive answer to “who came first?”  InterCasino, owned by the development company CryptoLogic, was doubtlessly one of the early online casinos, and it too is still in existence today.

Regardless of exactly who came first, Microgaming and CryptoLogic were certainly notable companies in the early days of online casinos. They both played key roles in the development of the technology required to power the games and the financial systems needed to process cash transactions.  It is amazing to think they are both still at the forefront of the industry almost 25 years later.

Rapid development
Naturally the range of games available to players in the 1990’s was fairly limited and the software was very basic compared to modern-day online casinos. But, as more game makers got involved in the online casino industry, the number of casino sites grew exponentially and casino games became far more advanced.

The marketplace became very competitive very quickly, with many operators trying to become the biggest and best. Attractive sign-up bonuses for new customers became commonplace amongst the UK’s traditional bookmakers, such as William Hill, who had all started up online activities for their sports betting customers.

Progressive jackpots, themed slots and multiplayer poker games have since helped online casinos to grow in popularity.  Live casino games have become commonplace in recent years and live video streams of dealers and croupiers in real time have proved very popular.

The most recent development is the addition of mobile compatible games, meaning you can play your favourite games from your smartphone or tablet.  So the question is, what’s the next big thing in store for online casino developers and online casino players? Only time will tell.

…Slot play long before there was an internet