The History of Online Gaming

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Intrigued by online gaming sites, but wondering how it all began? You are not alone in this, as the process of wagering money over an internet connection is one that has revolutionized the world of gaming, enthralling many people who are constantly searching for action.

Many folks do not have easy and ready access to a casino in their backyards, having to wait until a once or twice a year journey to a larger center in order to satisfy their itch for gaming excitement.

Due to the development of online gaming sites, they can now get online and into games any time they wish. Below, we will go through a brief history of online gaming around the world…

In the beginning…

Online gaming is an industry as old as the Internet itself. Indeed, in 1994, Antigua and Barbuda was the first nation on earth to pass a piece of legislation that allowed business concerns to open up online gaming sites on their sovereign territory.

Anticipating what was to come, Microgaming developed the first software capable of running gambling games, which positioned them to be the first to be able to offer their software to companies that were wanting to get online when the prior mentioned law was passed.

The action wasn’t limited to the nations of the Caribbean though, as the Canadian First Nation Kahnawake Mohawk band set up a gaming commission in 1996, allowing even more sites to get online in the years that followed.

Indeed, this precipitated an explosion in the number of gaming sites on the internet, as the 15 websites that were online in 1996 mushroomed to over 200 in 1997. By 1998, the revenues that the sites were bringing in exceeded 800 million dollars, signaling that gaming on the internet was a trend that was not going to go away, but would only grow exponentially online in the years ahead.

The universe of available games began to expand

Even during the early days of gaming, a wide slate of table games commonly found in casinos could be found on a wide variety of the sites that were made available.

From blackjack to baccarat, slots to European roulette, citizens from around the world were now able to enjoy their favorite casino games from the comfort of their own home, and they didn’t even have to dress up properly; pajama bottoms were now perfectly acceptable attire!

Games commonly found in the pit were the only things available online in those days, as sports books provided by players such as William Hill Online, and poker rooms spearheaded by companies such as Full Tilt and PokerStars only skyrocketed in popularity after the improbable run of accountant Chris Moneymaker at the 2002 World Series of Poker.

A dream short lived: the poker boom begins to deflate

While the poker boom touched off by Chris Moneymaker’s win in 2002 quickly made a lot of math wizards and statistical geniuses very wealthy in rapid fashion in the mid-2000s, it all quickly came apart in 2006 with the passage of the UIGEA, or the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

This made it illegal for these sites to accept payments from players that were located within the United States of America. Sites like Party Poker quickly bowed out, but other sites like Full Tilt Poker, Ultimate Bet, and PokerStars stayed in the market, hoping to take advantage of loopholes in the new legislation.

While this did work for a half decade, the Department of Justice eventually clamped down on all of the above mentioned sites in 2012, putting an end to the lion’s share of online poker real money gaming in the United States.

A glimmer of hope: Nevada and New Jersey legalize online poker gaming

While players wishing to game online where left without viable options in the wake of the Justice Department’s decision in 2011, the state of Nevada and New Jersey opened the door a crack in 2013, as both of these states passed laws permitting the transmission of online poker within their boundaries.

Other states are currently considering put online poker and gaming legislation, such as Pennsylvania, California, and Delaware. While the effort to legalize online gaming is a piecemeal effort at the present moment, the future is undoubtedly looking better for those wishing to place a wager and court Lady Luck from the comfort of their own couch in the years ahead.

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