Short history of online gambling

In the 1990s, the commercial internet was born. At first, the internet was consumer-based, and as technology advanced, the internet became more interactive. The first online gambling sites appeared in the mid 90s. At that time, only about 25% of all homes had a computer, and dial up connection were notoriously slow and unreliable. Slow computer and internet speeds posed problems for online gamblers. Most game software had to be downloaded, and took up valuable hard drive space. Flash-based games are now more common. In the mid to late 90s, many online gambling sites began to appear on the net. The first online bingo site was launched in 1996 and offered free bingo games. In the beginning the online gambling sector had several fly by night operators but these were weeded out by the turn of the century for the most part.

Online gambling has evolved a lot since the industry’s humble beginnings. Advancements in computer technology and the introduction of broadband allowed game developers and gaming operators to provide players with high quality games. The development of flash and java platforms eliminated the need to download game software and players had instant access to games. Today’s online gaming companies (like offer a wide variety of options including sports betting, bingo, poker, casino games, competitive backgammon and chess and many other forms of gambling. There was one betting site in the US where players could bet on anything no matter how exotic or ridiculous.

In the early days of the online gambling, industry operators were divided between reputable gaming companies that had player’s best interests at heart and unscrupulous operators looking for a quick buck. Complaints were numerous, and players had to pretty much fend for themselves. Since that time numerous steps have been taken to protect the interests of players. Several companies established gambling commissions who were charged with regulating the industry and weeding out rogue operators. The UK, Gibraltar, Malta, Curacao, Antigua and many others established regulations and standards.

Today, the internet gambling industry is well-established and enjoys a good reputation. Online gambling is convenient for players, and an expensive trip to a casino is not necessary. For those in rural areas without convenient access to a casino, online gaming has been a valuable source of entertainment. Games are available 24/7 and thanks to mobile devices, players can access games from anywhere they happen to be. While online games may not be as glamorous as a trip to a Las Vegas casino, they can provide hours of fun, entertainment and the chance to win some serious cash!
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