The history of Internet casino gambling is short but sweet, with the story beginning in 1994 when the governing body of Antigua Barbuda passed the “Free Trade and Processing Zone” act. This act essentially allowed for the issuing of gaming licenses to any persons or companies who wished to open an Internet casino gambling operation.

However, after the law was passed, there was no software that can accomplish the possibilities, so in the same year Microgaming was born, followed very shortly by CryptoLogic. Both now known as giants of the Internet casino gambling world, these companies developed software and security programs so that in 1996 the first online casino opened its lobby to the world.

The years 1996 to 1998 showed growth beyond comparison in the online gaming world due to a number of factors. First, the speed with which the Internet and access to it increased within these years was unprecedented in the history of technology. Second, the number of casinos also increased. And with the added demand, software development galloped along at unparalleled velocity. It was during this period that Microgaming introduced the first-ever progressive jackpot: Cash Splash.

Just as it didn’t take long for the online gaming industry to gather momentum, so it didn’t take it’s opponents long either to muster an attack. Senator John Kyl, the Republican from Arizona introduced the “Internet Gambling Prohibition Act” in 1998; it died in the House. By this point the Internet casino gambling industry, only two years old, was worth an estimated $1 billion, and was showing no signs of going into decline. Nonetheless, Senator Kyl returned the following year with a repackaged bill; again it failed, but Senator John Kyl spent the next 6 years lobbying, introducing, and reintroducing bills.

By 1999, there were around 700 online casinos. And on April 10th of the same year, Lasseters opens—the first and last Australian online casino. In another landmark event in 1999, Microgaming introduced an independent auditing and payout assessments into the online gaming world. Using the world-renowned Price-Waterhouse-Cooper, Microgaming set a standard for all online casino providers that reflected the safety and security of play that casino customers required.

By the time the new millennium rolled in, there were more casinos than ever, more software providers, more progressive jackpots, more players and more licensers, with Gibraltar being added to the list. Gibraltar would go on to be one of the biggest license providers online.

By 2001, some of the biggest casino’s were boasting over half a million accounts, and even with the bills finally passed in Congress in 2002 and 2003 that limited online gambling, the industry continued to grow; now worth an estimated $49 billion.

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