A History of Online Gaming Sites

the-history-of-ridiculously-complicated-online-gaming-20100720104158670People were playing computer games long before the internet was invented. Many players used computers that are now collector’s items like the Commodore 64 and other early models capable of using game software. In the early 90’s the invention of the internet changes everything. Suddenly users could access a huge variety of websites and could play interactive games on the net. It was just a matter of time before an enterprising businessman would figure out how to offer real money gambling on the internet. At first sports betting was the most popular form of online gambling. In the mid 90’s poker was introduced and was an instant hit. In 1996 the first online bingo site was launched offering free games.

In the beginning the small nations of Antigua and Barbuda played a major role in the development of internet gaming. The small island nations became the first to license online gaming operators in 1994. Soon other countries started to issue online gaming licenses. The international nature of the web and online gambling made it sticky situation in many countries. Although perfectly legal and licensed in several countries some governments tried to prohibit online gambling without much success.

In the UK the government took a rational approach and the gambling act of 2005 created a lucrative regulated market worth billions annually. Online bingo alone brings in over one billion dollars annually. Many EU nations have legalized online gaming and the industry has spread across the European continent. Unfortunately the United States chose a different path. In 2006 congress under pressure from religious extremist groups bowed to pressure and passed a law that prohibited banks, credit card companies and third party payment processors like PayPal from processing transactions related to online gambling.

As could be expected the US policy has been ineffective and disastrous. Americans still spend billions every year at offshore websites that pay no taxes in the US. In 2011 the US government seized several popular poker sites and court trials are still ongoing. For the most part most online gambling sites are reputable but there have been a few bad apples out there so it is always a good idea for players to check the reputation of any online gaming site. The industry has moved into social gambling and experts say that mobile gambling will be the next big thing.

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