With so many amazing online gambling websites available, you could be forgiven for assuming that citizens of every country have had access to online gambling since the birth of the internet. In fact, the reality is quite different, with many countries struggling to legalise online casinos today, even though many people are used to simply getting online and having a play whenever the mood strikes them.
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For many people, online gambling seems like it would be male-dominated, but this is becoming less and less true as the years go by and more females find that they love playing online. In fact, in Europe the industry has seen more than an 80% increase in females gaming online.
Antigua and Barbuda were the first places to allow operators to get a license in order to offer online gambling, which allowed many different organisations to offer slots, poker and other fun games. It was soon evident that gaming software would need to be more functional and easier to use, so Microgaming Software Systems Ltd took it upon themselves to make it happen. The next problem was finding a way to protect player’s bank accounts, since it was easy to hack into credit cards and bank accounts online. Cytologic managed to develop encryption software that allowed players to enjoy online gambling without the fear of being hacked.
In 2006 the industry took a blow in the United States with the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. The UIGEA ended up causing most international operators to ditch the US because it was a thinly veiled way to make gambling online illegal, stinging banks and credit card companies who processed transactions which were made on these sites. The good news is that many states in the US are beginning to once again legislate these websites, including Mississippi, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana and California.
And it’s easy to see why they want a piece of the online gambling pie. New Jersey has long allowed online gambling to continue, and by 2017 the state is expected to generate $463 million in revenue from gaming. The US alone reached an overall profit of $41 billion last year, and is expected to be earning $7 billion annually by 2017. For a country where online gambling is so heavily legislated, it’s important to note that it contributes almost 30% of the entire online gambling market.
In many other countries around the world, online gambling has long been both legal and popular. In Europe online gaming is seen as a right, and it’s expected that more and more countries will open themselves up to the revenue associated with it.