If you haven’t yet been onto an online gaming website, you’re missing out. Gone are the cheap graphics and annoying sounds, and these websites are now sleek, interesting, and easy to find your way around.

In fact, there are so many ways you can experience amazing gaming online, that you may find yourself wondering just how the online gaming industry became such a big part of the internet.

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It all started in Antigua and Barbuda, which were the first places offering legal online gambling licenses. It was evident that this was a huge opportunity that could become popular around the world, so Microgaming got to work and created software specifically for online gambling. Of course it was also important that visitors to these sites could play without risking their savings, so Cryptologic designed encrypted software in 1995, so players could gamble safely with their credit cards.

The first money wager was in 1996 on Intercasino, and it was soon evident that the industry would need to have some form of regulation. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission was soon formed, meaning that online casinos needed to be licensed and follow regulations.

Most people think of slot machines when they think about casinos, so it’s not surprising that the online slot machine Cash Splash was launched in the late 1990’s, followed by an online poker room. From here the industry exploded, and by 1998 there were more than 700 online casinos where players could have the opportunity to have some fun and win big.

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A huge $2.2 billion was being brought in each year by online casinos by 2002, and the UK quickly realised how much profits could be earned by taxing the industry and legalised it in 2005, allowing Brits to enjoy online gaming.

It was a different story for players i the US, and the senate passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which made it illegal for both credit card companies and banks to process transactions from online gaming websites. This was bad news for the industry, and many international gaming sites left the United States altogether, leaving for greener pastures and countries with far less restrictive laws on online gaming.

By 2010, online gaming was booming around the world, and revenue was hitting $21 billion each year, with more than 864 gaming websites online. This was great news for players in most countries, as online gaming was safer and with more variety than ever. However the government cracked down on multiple sites in the US which had violated the UIGEA, leading to further problems for the industry in the United States.

This is one industry that continues to grow and change with the times, and is constantly keeping up with new technology. Mobile gaming is the next big thing, and $10 billion worth of betting has already been done through tablets, mobile phones and iPads internationally.