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Online Casino History

Thanks Antigua and Barbuda!
The recent explosion in popularity of online gambling has its roots in a little law that was passed in 1994 by the islands of Antigua and Barbuda. Once known for piracy, these island resort communities passed a law licensing gambling in their jurisdiction. The Free Trade and Processing Zone Act allowed online casinos to register in Antigua and Barbuda, and these online casinos could accommodate customers from around the world.

Microgaming
That same year, the Internet gaming pioneer company Microgaming developed the first software package to serve online casinos. In 1995, Microgaming introduced a powerful new program that provided casinos with management tools and player tracking systems.

Cryptologic
Around the same time, an Internet security software developer, CryptoLogic, was busy developing the software to encrypt financial transactions in a safe and secure manner. In 1996, CryptoLogic released their first software package capable of handling online transaction using eCash connected with real money accounts.

Combining the legal freedom of the Caribbean and technological and financial advantages of Microgaming and CryptoLogic, the first online casino, InterCasino, opened in October of 1996. This led to an explosion of online casinos.

North America
During this formative period in online gaming, Canada was playing host to many online gaming interests. Canada had also passed laws that authorized and regulated gambling on the Internet. BossMedia and Starnet Communications were both developing software in Canada at this time.

By 1998 and 1999, BossMedia and Starnet Communications had both finished developing their gaming software. In the U.S., the first attempt to ban online gaming was proposed around this time. Known as the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, the bill did not pass.

Shortly after the billís failure, BossMedia and Starnet both introduced new software packages to licensed independent Internet casinos. Canada then began exploring the legal issues surrounding online casinos. The country eventually fined Starnet for their role in developing gaming software.

Australia
Australia tried a different approach to online casinos, licensing only one online casino, Lasseters. In 2000 however, Australia passed a law banning all Internet casinos and online sports books formed after May 2000. Lasseters continues to be the only online casino to operate in Australia. While some of the first countries to open up online casinos started to regulate the business, other nations seeking entry into the online gaming business, notably Argentina and the UK. BossMedia helped develop an online version of and African land-based casino around this time.

Port Security and Craps
The 2006 passing of the Safe Port Act, a nifty piece of U.S. legislation that paired port security with Internet gambling, made online gambling more difficult for most Americans. A number of the gambling sites out there will no longer accept deposits from players who live in the States. Despite the ongoing legal challenges to online casinos, the online gaming industry will continue to adapt and evolve. Although a portion of the market was removed from the equation, a worldwide demand for online gaming still exists.


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