The History of Online Gambling
Online gambling, or internet gambling as it’s sometimes called, is any kind of gambling activity performed online. This holds true whether you are talking about poker, online casinos (check out our Top 10 Online Casinos page here!), or sports betting.
You might think that online gambling is a relatively new thing, but it actually goes back all the way to 1994, when the very first online gambling venue opened up to the public in Liechtenstein with the Liechtenstein International Lottery. Since then, online gambling has taken off, and today in 2022, the market is estimated to be worth $40 billion globally each year.
But that wasn’t the only thing happening in 1994. Antigua and Barbuda both passed the Free Trade & Processing Act, which allowed licenses to be granted to open online casinos. But even slightly before that, something even more important happened to the gambling industry: Microgaming, a software company, based in the Isle of Man, teamed up with CryptoLogic to develop the first functional gambling software, with CryptoLogic for the first time enabling safe online transactions!
A few years later, in 1996, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission was established, which issues gaming licenses to many of the world’s online casinos and poker rooms. Since then, a massive variety of online casino games have been created and become hugely popular. One particularly popular casino game these days is the slot machine Book of Ra, which you can read a review of here on the site.
This is where online gambling really took off – while 1996 only had around 15 gambling websites, by 1997, just a year later, this had increased to over 200, and in 1998 a report published by Frost & Sullivan showed that online gambling revenues were above $830 million dollars for that year alone. This was also the year that online poker was largely introduced online. In 1999, multiplayer gambling was introduced to the market for the first time.
By 2001, the estimated number of people who had participated in online gambling rose to 8 million, and a year later, Belle Rock Entertainment was created, which to this day runs Jackpot City Casino. A few years later, in 2008, online gambling revenue was estimated to be $21 billion, and the latest estimates range between $40-$60 billion dollars in yearly revenue.
The Legalities of Online Gambling
Of course, in pretty much all countries, you have to be at least 18 years old to gamble – in some countries, this age varies, for instance, being 21 years old instead. Since the dawn of online gambling, The Law has been out to regulate it. This started with the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in 1996, then a failed Internet Gambling Prohibition Act in the US in 1998, and further acts like the Interactive Gambling Moratorium Act in Australia, which was passed in 2000.
These days, the legalities of online gambling vary greatly depending on the region of the world you live in. That’s why we make a big deal out of it here on Ekstrapoint, to make sure that the casinos available for readers in different countries are also licensed and legal to operate in their countries.
Of course, there are other reasons why some countries try to make it illegal. There have been many issues over the years with money laundering, as well as a gambling addiction. This is why, for example, casino operators in Denmark, Germany and Spain must provide deposit limits.
The Most Popular Online Gambling Games
There are many different kinds of online gambling and casino games. The biggest is, without a doubt, poker, with a massive 682 thousand monthly global searches. Next up is another card game, blackjack, which has 290 thousand searches, roulette with 242 thousand searches, and last but certainly not least, online slot machine games like the new Street Fighter II slot game.
You can also play free slots online here on Ekstrapoint.com, and if you join our competitions, there’s even a chance to win real money just by participating!
There are also live online casinos that, via webcam, showcase live footage from real-life casinos, where a virtual player can participate in the real game and a huge variety of other online casino games. If that’s more your type of game, you can check out a casino like Casumo, which features live dealer games for the ultimate Vegas experience!
Of course, these days, there’s practically no limit to the kind of online casinos and games you can find on the internet. There’s a reason that online gambling is as big as an industry as it is, and when you get to be this big, it’s only natural that practically every casino and gambling niche is filled by now. If you want to gamble online, there’s certainly no shortage of resources!
The Best Casino Bonus Codes
If you’re interested in online gaming-like slots, be sure to check out our casino games and reviews. We always have great deals on offer! For instance, we have a $1000 Wild Welcome package, where players gain 1,000 casino credits and 150 free spins upon joining.
Or if that’s not good enough, how about this bonus deal from Mr. Green Casino? Cash doubling up to 100€ from your first deposit, 100 Spins immediately added to your account and 10 extra free spins every day for 20 days!?
No matter what type of game or casino you’re interested in, we have it here on Ekstrapoint.com, and we will always try to offer you the best bonus codes and deals around.
Be sure to come back regularly and check the site for updates! We always put up new casino bonus deals, game reviews, and much more. You can also follow us on YouTube, where we regularly upload video reviews such as this one for 21.com!