The history of online betting and it’s exact origins are unclear. But what we do know for sure is that gambling goes back to ancient times.
No matter how far back we go, no matter which part of the world, we can find evidence of some rudimentary forms of online betting.
Some evidence dates back to the Paleolithic period, where human prehistory saw the development of tools. Yeah, gambling predates written language and complex structured societies.
Fast-forward a few millennia, and you have the advent of the internet, and lo and behold, online gambling was born.
Today, it is a multi-billion dollar industry that scores of people from all around the world partake in. For some people, online gambling is a profession that offers a steady source of income, that sustains them and their families.
The inception of online gambling is far more discernible and documented for some reason, so let’s take a look at its origins, shall we?
A quick search for “online casino” or “sports betting” would bring up millions of search results in less than a second. (Or more than a couple, depending on your fast your internet is) But where did it all begin?
The roots of online gambling can be credited to one single event – the passing of the Free Trade & Processing Act in the tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda.
The bill, which was passed sometime in the mid-90s, 1994 to be exact, granted the country the power to grant licenses to those who wanted to start online casinos, and thus, a brand new industry was born. Who knew it would soon grow to be what it’s worth today?
It was around this time, a gaming company called Microgaming was set up, which was a software provider. Microgaming is said to have developed the ever computer program that assisted in creating the very first online casino called the Gaming Club.
Microgaming is still very much active today, and very respected in the gambling industry. Soon after this, in 1996, Intercasino was launched, which was developed by CryptoLogic.
The establishment of the Kahnawake Gaming Commission the same year was another famous landmark in online gambling, which was owned by a Native tribe from Canada, and was responsible for granting the licenses to several businesses that wanted to establish online casinos.
Slowly but surely, more people began to set up online casinos, and they became prevalent, and competition grew. This was the time of dial-up internet, so they must have been really good at what they were doing.
It was around this time that sportsbooks were moving online as well. Intertops is credited to being the first online sports betting website, which quickly gained popularity. Live betting began a few years later, in 2002, and punters could place bets on sporting events as they happened.
Online poker can trace its origins back to the 90s as well. In 1998, Poker Planet was set up, a website on which you could play the much-loved card game online.
As you can imagine, this took off as well, and soon, there were several gambling sites set up very quickly – as it is today.