Online casinos are the internet version of land-based casinos. These are websites where you can wager on table games, slots, and other casino games for real cash. Online casinos have flourished over the years with the advancement of technology.
With over a thousand online casinos operating today, let’s take a look at the history of the online casino industry by listing down its pioneers.
The Gaming Club Casino is one of the oldest online casinos in the world. Although there were already several online casinos that were in their infancy stage in 1994, it claims to be the first online casino to take a bet.
The popularity of the Gaming Club enabled its owners to establish several other online casinos including Jackpot City, Showdown, and Home Casino. They were all merged into The Gaming Club Group before being sold to the Carmen Media Group. Gaming Club is still up and running today as one of the seven online casinos under Belle Rock Entertainment.
InterCasino is one of the pioneers within the online casino industry. Like Gaming Club, it claims to be the first online casino. Established in 1996, InterCasino was founded by a former Ohio bookmaker named William “Billy” Scott. It is registered and regulated by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta.
In 2007, InterCasino paid out the then biggest ever online casino jackpot when a factory worker won $8M on its Millionaire’s Club progressive slots. It’s currently owned by the Dumarca Gaming Ltd Casinos.
Intertops entered the picture in 1996 as one of the few online casino innovators. But it isn’t just one of the oldest online casinos in the world, it’s also the first online sportsbook on record to accept the world’s first online sports wager.
On January 17, 1996, Finnish national Jukka Honkavaara logged into Intertops and made a $50 bet on the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club against Hereford United in English football. Honkavaara won the bet and profited only $2, but he would earn a place in the Sports Betting Hall of Fame for his historic bet.
The English Harbour Casino is considered the fourth trailblazer in the online casino industry but is the only one that’s no longer operating. Founded in 1997, it was owned by E.H. New Ventures Gaming Inc. and was running out of Antigua.
In 2011, English Harbour Casino and six other major online casinos announced that they were shutting down their operations. Although no reason was given, it was widely believed that the United States’ Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 played a big part in the closure of English Harbour Casino.
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