THE HISTORY OF ONLINE GAMBLING SITES
The internet was one of the most revolutionary human innovations in recent times. It changed our lives and gave the masses instant access to information, entertainment and money making opportunities. One of the industries that was really revolutionized by the rise of the internet was the gambling industry. Riding on the popularity of the internet, gambling companies quickly developed virtual gambling technology that was accessible online, creating what we know today as situs judi online. But where did it all start?
The Roots of Online Gambling
The first gambling websites were introduced around 1994, with most of them based in Antigua and Barbuda. This is because the small Caribbean nation has just passed the Free Trade and Processing Act, allowing it to grant licenses to online gambling businesses. This represents the birth of the online gambling industry. At about the same time, the Micro gaming Company was founded. Micro gaming would go on to revolutionize online gambling and become the leading online gambling software provider. Most online casinos today are powered by Micro gaming software.
In 1996, a Mohawk Indian tribe based in Canada formed the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, with the aim of issuing gaming licenses. This was followed by massive growth in the online gambling industry, with 15 websites going live by the end of 1996. By the end of 1997, the industry had exploded. There were over 200 online casinos and the industry was fast approaching the $1 billion mark in annual revenue.
The Rise of Sports Betting
Following the success of situs judi online, the industry naturally progressed to online sportsbooks. In 1996, InterTops was founded, becoming the first platform that allowed sports fans to place online wagers on their favorite teams. Intertops gained massive success, and soon after, many top bookmakers followed suite and created their own online sports betting platforms. In their initial years, these sites gave huge bonuses and cash back offers in order to attract people to online gambling. However, these deals gradually decreased as the market matured.
In 2000, Betfair entered the online gambling market, bringing with it an interesting trend. Betfair introduced a unique system known as peer-to-peer wagering, allowing players to make bets against other players. Betfair would then take commissions on each bet. Two years after the introduction of peer-to-peer wagering, in-play sports betting was introduced, providing the industry with another boom.
Online Gambling in the USA and the UIGEA
Despite online gambling having gained lots of popularity in the USA, lawmakers decided to nip the industry in the bud by passing the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act. Under this law, it was illegal to deposit or withdraw money from an internet gaming website. However, the law did not illegalize online gambling. This created a legal gray area, leading to the withdrawal of many online gambling companies from the US market. In recent years, some states have started reinterpreting this law and are allowing internet gambling again, albeit with additional regulations.