When was the first online casino launched?

I came across an interesting infographic today, detailing the history of online casinos.

I've been playing with online casinos for years now, but I had no idea about the history. The first real money wager in an online casino was in 1996 at InterCasino - a brand that's still popular today.

In fact - I still regularly play with InterCasino. They offer great bonuses and an intuitive design.

Back in 1996, InterCasino offered just 18 casino games. They also offered access to the National Indian Lottery, which was surprising to find out, as even in 2015, India still have an undeveloped online gaming industry.

Before the first online casino wager could be accepted, companies were busy developing the necessary software to run a gaming platform. Microgaming developed the first gambling software in 1994.

Cryptologic was next to enter the software market. In 1995, Cryptologic developed encrypted communication protocols, which were used to ensure that all financial transactions at online casinos were secure.

Prior to all of this, what started the online gambling revolution? Well, in 1994, Antigua and Barbuda was the first country to pass a law making it legal to offer online gambling to offshore residents around the world.

Companies were able to apply for licenses to operate online casinos. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission was the next licensing body to regulate the online casino industry. They started offering licenses in 1996.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission in Quebec, Canada is still a major regulating body in 2015.

Here's another interesting tidbit. Do you know when the first online progressive jackpot was launched? It was in 1998 and developed by Microgaming. The slot was called "Cash Splash" and can still be played online today.

Online gambling ran smoothly until 2006, which is the year the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed into law in the United States. This had a huge impact in the industry.

After the law was passed, it was illegal for financial institutions to process transactions for online gambling sites, which forced many operators out of the US market or out of business completely.

The law is still effective today, although some US states are legalizing online gambling now.

Despite the UIGEA setback in the US market, the online casino industry continued to grow. A research study by H2 Gambling Capital estimated that revenue from online gambling would be $21 billion in 2008.

The industry has nearly doubled since 2008 as well. The online gambling industry is estimated to be worth $35 billion in 2015 and 85 countries have a regulated market, with more countries regulating the industry annually.

Social gambling has started to contribute to the growth in the industry. The social gaming industry is estimated to be worth $8 billion and casino games account for one-fifth of the total market share.

Another growing segment is mobile gambling. Juniper Research has estimated that $10 billion was gambled on mobile devices in 2013 worldwide. That's a massive number and one that'll continue to grow.

Many new markets are starting to see widespread mobile penetration (IE: Africa and Asia). Online casinos will market heavily to this segment of players and that'll require offering a great mobile casino.

I believe the online casino industry will continue to grow worldwide over the next decade. More countries will regulate online gambling and more potential players will be coming online in developing countries.

I want to thank  rightcasino.com  for researching the data contained in this article.

If you need to find a safe, reputable casino, look no further than RightCasino. With thousands of online casinos operating today, it can be tough knowing where to play, but they make the decision much easier.

- This article was written by guest writer Jarno Rekonius

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