It seems like online casinos have been around forever, however they have actually only been around for just under 25 years. In this time though, they’ve changed massively, going from simple websites to sprawling destinations featuring everything an online gambling fan could ever dream of. But how have they changed over time, and what has this meant for keen online gamblers in the UK? Keep on reading to find out!
The First Online Casino
The online casino story begins in 1994, and it doesn’t start in a country you might expect. No, it starts over in the Caribbean, where Antigua & Barbuda passed the Free Trade & Process Act – an act that made it possible for online casinos to come into existence. Someone still needed to build an online casino, and fortunately the people over at Microgaming had this covered. They’d already created the software, and the new law allowed this software to go live.
It did take a while for the first online casino to materialise though, however this eventually happened in 1996, when Intercasino – a name that’s still big in the online casino world – opened its virtual doors to customers. In 1996 though, Intercasino only offered 18 casino games, as well as access to the Indian National Lottery, so casinos still had a long way to go.
Microgaming Create Progressive Jackpot Game
Over the next few years, online casinos continued to add new games, giving more excitement to players. Casinos needed something a bit different in order to attract players though, and this came in the form of the first ever online progressive slot. This slot was created by Microgaming – once again proving how important they were to the online gambling boom – and it was called CashSplash. You’ll still find this progressive slot at many online casinos, along with hundreds of other titles.
The Online Gambling Boom
From 2000, the online gambling world really took off. Over $2.2 billion was already being spent on online gambling, and the majority of this came from US players. In 2001 though the UK entered the online gambling world, with licences being offered to those wanting to establish online casinos in the country.
By 2005, online gambling – including casinos, poker and sportsbooks – had reached its peak. The UK once again tweaked its rules regarding online gambling in this year, introducing some of the most liberal online gambling rules in the world. Online casino UK players continue to benefit from these liberal laws to this very day. Unfortunately though, the Americans weren’t so lucky. 2006 saw laws introduced by the US government that banned online casinos, which affected the gambling world massively.
Mobile Gambling Arrives
The continuing popularity of mobile devices was something the online casino industry couldn’t resist. By 2013 players were spending $10 billion a year at online casinos using their mobiles alone, and sites were starting to offer mobile optimised websites, as well as a large range of different mobile gambling apps. Social media also helped to boost the popularity of gambling during this period, with Facebook and Twitter providing a fantastic way for casinos to market themselves.
Live Dealer Casino Games
That pretty much brings us up-to-date, however there is one more innovation that needs to be mentioned – live dealer games. These have only become popular in the past couple of years, however they’ve provided an exceptional new way for people to play their favourite table games. With a dealer beamed to your computer screen via a webcam, live dealer games are the most realistic way to play, and it’s no surprise to learn that they are some of the most popular games found at any online casino – including Conquer Casino!