How Did Online Gambling Start?

The online gambling industry is one of the most booming industries, as evidenced by the growing number of online casinos and sports betting sites. At online gambling sites, players can play virtually any casino game they want and place bets on all kinds of sports. 

Modern-day gamblers can now take part in online gambling using a computer, tablet or smartphone. What many people don’t know is how online gambling started. Read on to find out how it all began.

What Online Gambling Entails 

First of all, it’s important to understand what online gambling is before we talk about its origins. Online gambling or internet gambling refers to any form of gambling that takes place on the internet. Operators in the online gambling industry have to acquire licenses to offer online casino games, sports betting options and lotteries

The First Online Gambling License and Venue  

The beginning of internet gambling can be traced back to 1994. Several noteworthy developments happened in 1994 and revolutionised gambling. Many things have happened since then, leading to the modern online gambling industry as we know it. 

The first thing to happen in 1994 was the issuance of the first online casino license. The Free Trade & Processing Act made it possible for Antigua and Barbuda to issue the first-ever gambling license to operate an online casino. In the same year, the Liechtenstein International Lottery opened the first online gambling platform to the public. 

Microgaming Develops the First Software for Online Casinos  

In 1994, Microgaming launched the world’s first operational casino software. The company was the first to run an online casino and bring a new gaming experience to gamblers who were only accustomed to land-based casino gambling. Known as the Gaming Club, the first online casino is still fully operational with more than 500 games to offer. 

The Beginning of Real Money Online Casino Gaming and Sports Wagering

The years 1995 and 1996 marked the beginning of real money gambling on internet sites. Cryptologic, a security software firm, was responsible for the first online casino transactions in 1995. Players were able to make quick and secure real-money transactions at online casinos.  

In 1996, InterCasino became the first online casino to offer real money gaming. And Intertops Casino became the world’s first online sportsbook to offer real money sports betting in the same year. Since then, the online gambling industry has changed in many different ways.

Today’s Online Gambling Industry 

Thanks to the significant events that took place between 1994 and 1996, modern players can now play almost every casino game online for real money. And punters have access to innumerable online sports betting sites that offer betting options in numerous markets. Today, we have a multi-billion online gambling industry that keeps advancing every new day. 


Since its inception, online gambling has been offering lots of opportunities to gamblers. With an internet-enabled device, players can engage in all forms of online gambling for real money. What we have now is a vast industry with plenty of online casinos and sportsbooks to choose from. 

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