While land based casinos and casino games are steeped in centuries of history, in stark contrast the online casino industry has a very short history in terms of its advancements. The first land based casino was established in 1765, but it took over 200 years online casinos to make an appearance.
At just 17 years of age, if it were any other industry, the online casino industry would still be considered to be in its infancy but in just a few short years, it has managed to metamorphose from a fledgling launch into a massive multi-billion dollar global giant that has changed rapidly and adapted to every situation.
There are three main factors that played a role in the emergence of online casinos, the first of which was the development of gaming software which made its debut in brick and mortar casinos in the 70's. Another major factor of influence was the development of technology which enabled computers to connect to a nodal server which allowed access to gambling software, this new technology was known as the internet. Finally, the inception of a regulatory body emerged in 1994 and the rest as they say was history.
Even though the technology required for the creation and operation of online casinos was in existence since the inception of the internet, the first steps towards the start of gambling operations began in 1994 after the Free Trade and Processing Act was passed in the Caribbean with the first legally established online casinos, the Gaming Club and Intercasino opening their doors in 1995 and 1996 respectively. This was followed by a huge succession of online casinos, with the majority launching in the early 2000's. Now legendary names like bet365 first launched in 2000.
Software giant Microgaming was the first software provider to enter the online casino industry and the organisation developed a number of online casino games which could be downloaded to the PC's and laptops of players across the world. In little time other providers emerged, with Cryptologic entering the market as a contender, and both they and Microgaming pioneered various gaming applications and platforms, which yielded huge profits and opened up a market for a number of eager entrepreneurs who happily entered the industry.
From this juncture onwards, little could stop the rapid growth, development and expansion of online casinos which continually competed to provide fresh, innovative ideas to enhance the player's online gambling experience. As the internet capabilities improved from dial up to broadband, online casino technology was adapted to offer a richer, faster, better experience and that quest for innovation continues with each new technological development.
What were once basic online casinos with an offering of a handful of online slots and one variation of each table game, no bonus offerings whatsoever and a direct contact to the company's CEO published on their sites have now become multi-billion dollar corporate machines with hundreds of online slots, multiple single and multiplayer versions of casino games, huge online casino bonus offers and a variety of promotional offers to attract players in an ever increasingly competitive environment, all of which are supported by teams of customer care staff in almost every conceivable language.
Nowadays a player may play his or her favourite online casino games from the comfort of their own home, chat with other casino players from across the globe and even interact with live dealers! Not to mention that smart phones and tablet devices have now made mobile online gambling possible in almost any situation. There are industry watchdogs and regulators as well as huge debates on the legality and regulation of online casinos across the various countries of the globe.
With every passing year, technology develops and the world of online casinos becomes more exciting and more complex. In just a few short years it is simply a marvel at just how far this industry has come and we can't help looking back on it all with much nostalgia and pride.