Updated: Sep 7, 2022
The Roots of Online Gaming
The first Internet Gaming Sites went live in the mid-90s. However, these were far from the best platforms in use today. Initially, the best online gambling sites started to operate from Antigua and Barbuda due to the free trade and treatment law of the islands. This bill gave the tiny Caribbean nation the right to license companies interested in starting online casinos and essentially spawned a new industry.
Around the same time, one of the biggest software providers in the industry, Micro gaming, came on the scene. In the history of online gambling, Micro gaming has become known as a leading figure and a company that has virtually revolutionized online gambling.
Even now, Micro gaming is still regarded as one of the most trusted software providers for the internet gaming industry. Their software currently supports all types of online gambling sites, from casinos to poker rooms and everything in between.
Online Gambling History: The Rise of Sports Betting
The natural transition from virtual casino and poker sites has of course been towards online sports betting. In 1996, InterTops was the first platform to offer fans a new way to bet on their favorite teams. The initial success of InterTops was followed by rapid expansion and within two years some of the world's top bookmakers, including William Hill and Ladbrokes, launched their own online gambling sites.
Initially, these sites offered players huge bonuses and cashback offers to entice them to gamble online. As the market matured, these transactions gradually declined. However, the modern online gambling climate is still a mecca for bonuses if you know where to look (and luckily we do).
The Strange Business of Betfair
Another interesting trend in online sports betting appeared in 2000 after Betfair entered the market. This online gambling site took sports betting to the next level with the invention of peer-to-peer betting. This system, almost unique in the industry, essentially allowed players to place bets on each other while the site received commissions on each bet. Two years after the creation of Betfair, sports betting has given a new impetus to the online industry. Pushing internet technology to its limits, live sports betting has proved hugely popular and one of the most exciting new sports betting on the market today due to its compatibility with desktop and mobile devices.
The Rise of Online Poker
Planet Poker is widely regarded as the first online gambling site to offer poker. Founded in 1998, this platform quickly attracted a large number of players, including WSOP bracelet winner Chris "Jesus" Ferguson.
Unfortunately, the site was plagued with a number of glitches and other issues. At the time, a large number of people were still using dial-up internet services, which caused various speed and download issues.
The Future of Online Poker
While online gambling, especially online poker, has seen ups and downs over the years, there is renewed hope for the future. Europe has already recognized internet gambling as a right of every legal adult and it appears the US is starting to adopt the same mindset. Indeed, the best online gambling sites are now working hard to lobby US politicians and many predict that the next few years could see a renewed boom for the virtual gambling industry.