From a small idea in the Caribbean nation to one of the world’s biggest multi-billion-dollar industries, online gambling has a rich history with ups and downs. It all began in 1994 in Antigua and Barbuda following the regulation changes that made it possible for casinos to legally operate online. Courtesy of these changes, casino operators sought licenses to provide online gambling. A point worth noting is that online gambling was just at its budding stage at this moment, and the internet (one of the greatest inventions of all time) was only but gathering momentum. Hence, it took casino operators a bit of time to get everything on the right track. Remember, these operators needed software developers to run online casinos. Since necessity is the mother of invention, the first software developer by the name Microgaming came up in 1994 and the firm did not disappoint.
However, the hurdles did not end with the availability of the software provider. Online security was another issue that needed a quick solution since no operator wanted to risk their hard-earned money. As a result, Cryptologic arrived just on time to arrest the situation and guarantee secure transactions right from 1995. Following these developments, Microgaming launched the first ever real money online casino in October 1995. However, it took a hell of time for players to start wagering cash. As a matter of fact, this did not happen until 1996. When it finally happened that year, InterCasino made history as the first ever online casino to have a player place a real money bet. At that time, the casino had only 18 games in total. Two years later, online casino games grew in popularity, culminating in the launch of the first progressive slot online.
By 2000, at least 700 online casinos were in existence. Since the market was growing fast, many jurisdictions decided to focus on online gaming, and operators could obtain licenses for their projects. Later, the industry experienced massive growth during the mobile boom period. Despite its humble beginnings, online gambling now (as of 2018) runs in billions of dollars.