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The History of Online Gambling

Over the past two to three years, the online gambling industry has grown in leaps and bounds. However, online gambling began in 1994 with the Free Trade and Processing Zone Act passed by the government of Antigua Barbuda. Many online casinos today still operate under this legislation.
This article will present the highlights in the history of online gambling from its first beginnings in 1994 until the end of 2003.

1994
Microgaming (one of the online gambling industry's largest software developers and suppliers) was founded.

1995
Cryptologic, a company designed to develop software packages that can process transactions securely, is founded.

1996
Boss Specialtidningar AB begins development of a system for online casino operations.
Microgaming begins concentrating on the development of online casino technology.
Intercasino begins operations and claims to be the first internet casino to accept real money for wager.

1997
Boss Casinos' development (transferred to Boss Media AB) is located in Antigua Barbuda.
Antigua Barbuda is one of the few countries to sanction online gambling.

1998
Microgaming launches the first online progressive jackpot slot, which it names Cash Splash.
The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act is introduced in the United States. The bill fails to pass.
The gaming industry generates $834.5 million in revenue.

1999
Lasseter's, the first Australian-licensed Internet casino goes online.
Estimates exist of approximately 700 Internet casinos taking bets online.
New gaming software becomes available that has multi-player functionality, allowing multiple players to play together and chat to each other while involved in the online game.

2000
The Australian Federal Government passes the Interactive Gambling Moratorium Act. This makes it illegal for any online casino, not licensed and operating before May 2000, to operate. Lasseter's Online becomes the only online casino allowed to operate in Australia under the new legislation.
Estimates exist of approximately 680,000 customers using online electronic payment systems for Internet betting.
Gibraltar and the Isle of Man begin to offer online sports betting licenses.

2001
Up to 8 million people are estimated to have gambled online with real money.
It becomes legal for licensed online casinos to operate out of Nevada, according to new Nevada legislation.
An online gambler wins $414,119 playing slots at a Caribbean online casino. This is the largest online win to date.

2002
The first ever win of over $1 million in an online casino jackpot, was won.  The winner was playing a progressive slot game at Captain Cooks Casino when he made his win.

2003
eCOGRA (eCommerce and Online Gambling Regulation and Assurance) is established. This aims to regulate strict safety and security guidelines for member sites.
An anti-gambling bill is passed in the United States House of Representatives, making it illegal for payment processing companies to facilitate gambling transactions that are done via the Internet.
Chris Moneymakers wins the 2003 World Series of Poker after having only played on online gambling sites prior to the competition.
“Live Gaming” is launched, which is a real-time, video-streamed game featuring live dealers and the ability to play one-on-one and chat to the dealer.

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