Online gambling is so prevalent today that it wouldn’t be strange for many of us to forget that its history is not a very long one. The internet itself is only 30 years old now! A lot of us were kids even before the internet was a thing.
Even though the history of online gambling is short, so much has happened in the world of online gambling since its inception. That’s why we wanted to take a closer look at how online gambling came into being, how it developed despite numerous obstacles, and how it came to be so prevalent today.
The early days were fraught with obstacles, so it will be fun to take a look at how something that we take for granted today became what it is. Let’s take a look:
The internet appeared in the early 1990s, and it didn’t take long for bookmakers to create the first website that would handle peoples’ bets online. The benefits of online gambling were realised early on, which is why the first gambling website went online in 1996. No one is exactly sure which website was that first one, as several websites were created around the same time.
Most believe that the first gambling website was Intertops.com. The first transaction and the first bet was placed on a football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Hereford United. And yes, the punter was lucky — they made a small win from the bet.
A screenshot of the site Intertops.com back in the late 90s.
Very soon, Intertops.com gained its first major competitor in the form of an Australian betting website called Centrebet.com.
It’s easy to think that all of this just took place, but the reality is that the first bookmakers had trouble making transactions possible online. Remember, at that time, there was no software like PayPal that could make this possible. Even worse, the very technology of online transactions wasn’t developed yet.
Despite all that, with the advent of the first websites for gambling, many others soon followed and more and more gambling games were added to the websites. The first online casinos were born as well, and by 1998, there were around 700 of them in the world. What’s more, the revenues from online gambling exceeded $830 million during that same year.
As of 1998 and beyond, the years of flourishing began for online gambling. More and more countries started to grasp the benefits of online gambling, so they began to regulate the market. This allowed for more options and more security for both the players and the websites facilitating gambling. Placing bets became much easier, completely safe, and truly fun.
All this caused the industry and the market to grow further. The technology constantly got improved and new games were made. Websites with tips and advice on how to gamble and win big online came to be as well.
Naturally, it wasn’t all so easy and it certainly didn’t go smoothly for everyone. For example, many countries had problems understanding the new industry and didn’t know how to regulate it. One of the earliest countries to succeed in properly facilitating online gambling was Antigua and Barbuda in 1994. The island nation allowed online gambling companies to run their businesses within their borders.
The situation in the UK, Canada, Australia and India
In the early 2000s, the first major countries with lucrative gambling markets developed their first regulations. The most notable countries were the UK, Canada, and Australia. As you already know, some countries, like the United States, were slow to follow, and largely ignored the new lucrative market. For example, the first US state that legalised online gambling was New Jersey, and it did it in 2010!
Online and land-based gambling in India remains largely unregulated – and technically, gambling is prohibited. However, betting on horse racing is legalised at state level, while state governments can also authorise lotteries within their jurisdictions.
The popularity of online gambling is growing at a rapid pace, with Indians betting on table games, slots, roulette online, sports fixtures.
Betopin India was born in 2014 as a betting comparison portal to guide betting enthusiasts on picks, odds, platforms, exchanges, sportsbooks, betting news, and trends.
In the last few years, the online gambling world came a long way since its inception. Technology keeps improving and gambling websites such as are getting better at keeping players entertained and turning them into loyal customers.
You can now play a wide variety of slot games, including classic, multi-line, and progressive slots. More importantly, you can bet on events as they keep unfolding, which is why live betting and live casino games become so popular in the last few years.
Most importantly, online gambling is now fully functional on a wide variety of devices, which was almost unimaginable just a couple of years ago. You can play games on your phone, tablet, and more — not only on your computer.
What Will the Future Bring?
The future looks very bright for online gambling. We can already see that a couple of exciting technologies are lining up to join the world of online gambling. Most notably, virtual reality is likely to enter the market soon and offer unprecedented levels of interactivity to gamblers.
Naturally, the mobile gambling world is set to grow even more in the years to come, and smartphones are likely to become the primary devices people use to play online gambling games.
Payments are already seamless and many gambling websites use a lot of different payment methods, including bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The years to come are likely to introduce crypto to most online casinos and other gambling websites.
In the end, thanks to rising internet speeds, we are likely to see further developments of player vs. player gambling games and the advent of VR gambling.
All in all, the future of online gambling is definitely looking great!