An online casino is a derivative of the traditional land-based casino. It also refers to virtual casinos or gambling websites and offers a variety of games, or one, depending on which website it is. Online casinos offer better odds than land-based casinos for games like slot machines, where the house regulates the chance of winning. This is known as the “house advantage”.
Internet Casinos, Inc. (ICI), the world’s first online casino, launched on August 18, 1995. It offered 18 casino games and allowed online access to the National Indian Lottery. Since its inception, ICI has been operating out of the Turks and Caicos Islands to avoid being prosecuted by the US government.
In the middle of the 90s, another online casino was launched claiming to be the first: The Gaming Club and Intertops. They successfully built a trusted service with high security, reliable payouts, efficient customer support, and serving large numbers of people excited about this new gambling mode.
In 1996, a second gambling site was launched. Soon after its launch, the Interactive Gaming & Communications Corp. was listed on NASDAQ. This online casino’s financial success is not just the internet but also the acceptance by bettors of sports wagers via telephone calls to Antigua via satellite.
The American gambling laws have allowed the development of the online casino industry, mainly in the Caribbean Islands countries and Asian or European countries. Governments can also operate their gambling sites, such as Liechtenstein’s government which operates an international lottery online in German and six other languages to drive international traffic.
Atlantis was the first online casino to be based in Great Britain. The Isle of Man licensed it. This inspiring fact inspired Sol Kerzner, its founder, to create a new type of online gambling: the thematic online casino.
This online casino offers five-figure progressives and slots payouts. It also gives away trips to Atlantis (the Paradise Island in the Bahamas) and is Mr. Kerzner’s property. Atlantis was also the first casino to recognize players’ importance and introduce the VIP program exclusively for members of the London Club.
Rolling Good Times Online, an online gambling magazine, reports that there are currently 452 gambling-related websites. In addition, there are thousands of affiliates, franchisors, and co-branded sites. The global market for online gambling is approximately $49 billion.