Which was the first online casino?

For some Internet savvy gamblers, it may seem hard to recall a time when gambling was restricted to within the walls of a bricks and mortar casino, before the days of online casinos. The reality is that online casinos have only been around since 1994, but they sure have come a long way in their short 20 year history.

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History of online casinos

The 90’s pioneered the way for a lot of exciting technological advances, and Internet gaming was one of them. In 1994, the Free Trade and Processing Zone Act was passed in the Caribbean island of Antigua and Barbuda, allowing traders to obtain licences to operate real money gambling venues online. As widespread use of the Internet expanded and more and more homes took advantage of broadband connections, it didn’t take long for online gambling to gain popularity.

As player numbers grew rapidly, software developers and gaming companies lead by Microgaming and Cryptologic quickly got on board, resulting in unprecedented growth of the online casino industry. The next few years saw the rise of The Gaming Club, the thriving success of Intercasino, the creation of Cryptologics ground-breaking eCash system and Microgaming’s dominance of the gaming software market after the release of Cash Splash, the world’s first ever online progressive jackpot slots game. By 1998, virtual casinos had already generated a whopping $834.5 million in revenue.

What are some of the oldest online casinos?

The Gaming Club and Intercasino are the two longest running online casinos in the world and have been in existence since the industry began in 1994. These are the oldest online casinos that are still in operation today.

Our favourite long-running online casino is Royal Vegas Casino, which has been in successful operation since 2000. Powered by Microgaming, RVC has helped pave the way for a new breed of virtual casino, putting player security, entertainment and customer service above all else. Proudly earning its place as a member of the highly reputable Fortune Lounge Group, Royal Vegas is the perfect example of an Internet based casino that’s been around since humble beginnings and continues to set the bar for others in the business.

Royal Vegas Casino offers an enormous list of games including a large range of online slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, poker, craps and live dealer gaming. Games can be trialled for free in demo mode or player for real money wagers.

How have online casinos changed?

While it’s impossible to take a time machine back to the dawn of online casino life, it’s safe to say that online casinos have changed dramatically during their 20 years in existence. Advances in technology have moved almost faster than gaming companies can keep up with, but they do a damn fine job of keeping their fingers on the pulse to bring innovative games that utilise the latest in gaming technology.

Recent years have brought the invention of 3D online slots that use the same graphic quality you’ll find in a leading Disney or Pixar animations. Gaming developers have started teaming up with film and TV corporations, like NetEntertainment’s collaboration with Universal Studios bringing hits including Aliens, Scarface and South Park to life in slots form. Along with slots games that include Jurassic Park and Terminator 2, Microgaming managed to secure a partnership with Playboy, creating not only a Playboy themed slots game, but live dealer games hosted by real life Playboy Bunnies.

Live dealer gaming is the latest development to take the online gambling world by storm, where high-def video cameras are used to stream table games operated by real human croupiers in real time direct to computers around the world. Players can place bets, chat with the dealer and other players and watch the action unfold in instant play. As the industry gets its head around this new technology, more fabulous live dealer games are constantly being unveiled.

Online casinos are staying on top of mobile technology, and while mobile optimised casino games are dramatically lower in numbers than you’ll find at a Web based casino, more games are being released by the day. Players can now place bets on their favourite casino games using iPhones, iPads, Android devices, BlackBerry’s and a huge range of other smartphone and tablet devices.

For an industry that has grown this far and keeps getting bigger and better by the day, we can only speculate what might be next for the exciting world of online gaming.

Is it safe to gamble online?

As with anything on the Internet, there will always be good and bad vendors. When spending money online it always pays to do your research before handing any cash over, or restrict your online expenditure to reputable sites and brands that you know and trust.

The casinos recommended across our site are all extremely safe and reliable, following strict guidelines enforced by international gambling industry bodies like eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance). Many of the sites are members of the exclusive Fortune Lounge Group, a collective of leading online casinos dedicated to ensuring the highest in security, entertainment and customer service standards.

Leading online casinos offer secure deposit and withdrawal methods via a range of reputable banking methods and use the latest in 128 Bit SSL Security to ensure player details remain private at all times. Payment methods include Visa, MasterCard and bank transfer, with web wallet services like Skrill, Neteller, Entropay, meaning players don’t even need to share their banking details with the casino when depositing funds.