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What was the first ever online casino?

Online casinos are mainstream today and more people gamble over the Internet and in brick-and-mortar establishments. We take them for granted and very few people actually remember how online gambling used to be back in the day. In the late 90s, personal computers were affordable and decently powerful, while the Internet speeds fast enough to make online gaming possible. The first steps were made in 1994, when Microgaming opened shop as a pioneer in the world of software developers for online casinos.

Gaming Club Online Casino Led the Way

Microgaming was the first company to develop games for online casinos and not surprisingly, the first operator was powered by them. Gaming Club Online Casino was founded in 1994, the same year the software developer was established. Only a few games were available, but their impact was strong enough to provide others with the motivation to jump on the bandwagon. A tiny community of players was coalesced around this new casino which provided Microgaming with the impetus to develop specialized management tools and the brand-new player tracking system.

Over the next couple of years, Microgaming released new games and expanded their portfolio to include slots, blackjack, roulette, video poker and craps. A major milestone for the company and their flagship casinos was the introduction of progressive jackpot slots in 1998. This represents an important moment not only for the software developer, but for the entire online gambling industry. For the first time ever, it was possible for regular players to become millionaires with a single spin of the reels. To project an image of trustworthiness, they had independent auditor PlayCheck verify their games for fairness.

InterCasino Ushered in the Age of Real Money Gambling

In 1996, InterCasino opened its doors and this veteran casino is still standing 23 years later. This is a remarkable performance given the incredible competition that exists in the online casino industry. While this brand is still popular today, more than two decades ago it was a true innovator, in spite of offering less than 20 games. This is where the first real money wager was placed at an online casino and the first batch of lucky players were able to cash out their profits.

Microgaming and Cryptologic were the dominant software developers in the late 90s, powering the most important casinos. Many of them were licensed in Antigua and Barbuda, which was the first country to make online gambling legal. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission was established shortly after and it is one of the most important and respectable regulatory bodies today. Better Internet connections and the arrival of mobile devices took online gambling to new highs and empowered online casinos to overtake their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

Today anyone can choose from thousands of games and hundreds of pay by mobile casinos. It is possible to bet real and virtual currency on desktop and laptop computers as well as smartphones and tablets powered by major operating systems. The future looks particularly bright with virtual technology expected to breathe fresh life into the online gambling industry.

 

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