In the industrial world that started more than 100 years ago, the online casino industry is very, very new. In fact, thousands of people now playing their favorite Casino Games, such as slots, craps, Blackjack and roulette, have only been doing this for about 15 years. Before 1994, people had to go to a “live” casino or play a computer game from a disk.
But now, in the 21st century, it’s possible to enjoy casino games of every description without leaving the comfort of your home. Not only have game creators given us a realistic game experience, we can access the games immediately on the Internet.
According to records from the company and from people who watch the industry closely, some of the larger online casino and poker sites have served billions of customers in the past 10 years. Pokerstars, probably the most popular poker site, recently passed a significant milestone: one billion poker hands dealt. Companies that have been in the “live” casino business for decades established an online presence. Harrah’s, a traditional name in the industry, opened www.caesarscasino.com in 2009.
In simple terms, the online casino industry is thriving in 2010, even in the middle of a recession that has reduced the action by a few percentage points. Countries that are small, in terms of geographical size and population, host dozens of international companies that get almost all their revenue from Web-based gambling. Malta, Gibraltar, Costa Rica, Isle of Man – the list goes on and on. Antigua Barbuda passed an early law that set up licensing guidelines for online play (1994). One company, Microgaming Inc., recognized the potential for online profit 14 years ago and decided to focus all its efforts on the Internet-gambling industry.
Online Gambling as a business grew so quickly that there were nearly 800 Internet casinos before the turn of the century. As this growth continued, politicians in the United States introduced and re-introduced legislation that would prevent U.S. citizens from gambling online. Most of the bills failed to get the needed votes and for several years people in the United States could wager on blackjack, slots, poker etc. at their favorite Internet site. Similar anti-gambling legislation was passed in Australia in 2001 while other countries (including the U.K.) took steps to legalize and regulate the action.
During the controversial administration of George W. Bush, U.S. politicians passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). This law prevented banks and other financial companies from handle real-money transfers connected with Internet gambling. From this point on, most online casino companies were off-limits to U.S. citizens. Led by Rep. Barney Frank, other U.S. politicians are attempting to pass legislation that would legalize and regulate online gambling.
Even with the mixed messages coming from various places on the planet, the industry is open for business and available to a vast majority of people. Not only do Web-based casinos compete for the online-gambling dollar, dozens of creative individuals play casino games and review online sites then offer suggestions about the best games, best graphics, best bonus programs for new players and so on. Information about the online casino industry is everywhere. There is an old saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” This is certainly true in the online casino industry.