Have you ever wonder how online gambling has evolved into a $35 billion annual market, in just 20 years? In this article, we will lead you through some important milestones of this enormously profitable industry.
It might be hard to believe but online games has been in existence since around 1994 when the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda passed laws enabling it to grant the world’s first online gambling license. However, the first online gaming technology was created in the British Crown Dependency of the Isle of Man which paved the way for the earliest online casinos.
In 1995, Cryptologic follow up by developing encrypted communication protocols to ensure secure financial transactions.
In 1996, the first Native American body – the Kahnawake Gambling Commission was established in the United States to regulate online gaming in the titular Mohawk territory. However, the Kahnawake Gambling Commission was also empowered to grant ionline gaming licenses over the world.
At the same year, the 1st money wager on online casino games is attributed to Intercasino. The casino offers 18 games and access to the National Indian Lottery.
However, not until 1998, that the online gaming industry really took off to reach annual revenues of $830 million. In the same year, the first online poker rooms were opened and Microgaming launch the first ever progressive slot jackpot – Cash Splash – which wasn’t long before the revenue of $1 billion was eclipsed.
The online betting boom by the millennium, online casinos are generating over USD 2.2 billion in revenues. US players contribute to two-thirds of total revenue.
As of 2008, worldwide annual gaming revenue was estimated of $21 billion. After the humble origins, the online gaming industry rapidly reach its current level of sophistication, and become the industry standard.
By 2010, there are over 865 online casinos. And by 2013, Social gambling grows, with casino games accounted for one fifth of the USD 8billion social gaming industry. Currently, 85 countries have legalized online gambling, contributing to a USD35 billion industry.