The History of Legal Online Gambling

Gambling dates back thousands of years and there are thousands if not hundreds of thousands of examples of people from all walks of society indulging in different styles of gambling games as a popular means of pastimes. Fast forward to the 1990’s and gambling was about to make one of its biggest moves in history, it was about to make its first transition from physical to digital with the introduction of the very first online casinos and poker sites.

Online Gambling: A Riches to… even more Riches Story

During the 1990’s some key events occurred that gave birth to the online gambling business we know today. Firstly, the country of Antigua passed an act called the “Free trade and Processing Act of 1994”. This law allowed special licenses to be issued to companies applying to open online casinos. It was at the same time that the first online gambling software was developed by software giants Microgaming, with the inclusion of security features designed by Cryptologic. This led to the viability of ultra-safe online transactions and thus the first online casinos were born.

Following this, in 1996 the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, who regulated casino operations in southern Quebec, began issuing its own online gambling licenses to online casinos from around the world. By 1999 online gambling had blown up in a big way and even multiplayer sites began to spring up all over the internet. Now people could hang out and be social in an online casino setting, while playing versus real opponents from all around the world.

In the year 2000 the Australian Government made it illegal for any online casinos to be opened in Australia unless they predated May 2000. This left just one online casino operational, and they couldn’t even take wagers online from people who lived in Australia thanks to the complexity of the new legislation.

Now by 2001 we saw upward of 8 million people gambling online and from that day it has continued to grow rapidly, showing no real signs of stopping just yet.

Online Poker: The Rise of an Online Power House

It was in 1998 that Planet Poker offered online players the opportunity to play poker online and became the first of its kind to do so. After being plagued by technical problems due to the hardware limitations of the day they shut their online doors. This gave birth to numerous online poker sites, and while some of them we to face a similar fate as that of Planet Poker, many went on to be successful due to their use of better hardware and software that solved some of the initial problems these original websites had already experienced. They also brought different poker variants such as Omaha to the table rather than just the standard Texas Hold’em.

It was in the year 2000 that the first online poker tournaments were offered by the website Poker Spot. These tournaments became extremely popular but the whole craze was extremely short lived as Poker Spot suffered much the same fate as Planet poker when issues with payments forced them out of business around 2001.

2001 then saw the rise of Party Poker and Poker Stars, two online poker sites that are still in business today. Both these online poker sites ran tournaments, but with a slight twist as they offered some tournaments which offered qualification for national and international ranked poker tournaments as their prize. Many of today’s Poker celebrities started their careers with these types of tournaments, earning them spots in major ranked tournaments where they showed off their skills and went on to make household names for themselves in the world of professional poker.

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