Online casino industry development timeline

Antigua Barbuda passes the The Free Trade and Processing Zone Act, 1994.  It is under licenses granted pursuant to this legislation that many online casinos and sports books now operate.

Microgaming, one the internet casino industry's biggest software vendors, is founded.

CryptoLogic is founded by brothers Andrew and Mark Rivkin, initially as a unique Internet idea regarding encrypted communication protocols - to settle transactions securely, reliably and quickly.

Starnet Communications, based in Vancouver, Canada, is established to develop, license and provide online gambling technology and websites, including online casinos and sportsbooks.  To evade local legal barriers, offshore subsidiaries are created to carry out development, licensing and e-commerce functions for clients.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is established in Canada, and creates its Kahnawake Gaming Law, designed to regulate licensed online gambling activities hosted within its jurisdiction.

Boss Media's parent company Boss Specialtidningar AB begins to develop a system for casino operations on the Internet.

Microgaming sells off existing casino operations and concentrates on the development of internet casino technologies.

Cryptologic begins development of the first Ecash and gaming application early this year, and complete its first generation of gaming software later the same year.

CryptoLogic's wholly owned subsidiary, WagerLogic, completed its first license; InterCasino goes online, claiming to be the first internet casino to accept a real money wager online.

Boss Casinos system development work is transferred to Boss Media AB.  The game server system is located in Antigua & Barbuda, in the West Indies, one of the few countries in the world willing to sanction Internet gaming operations.

Starnet Systems International Inc. is created as a subsidiary of Starnet Communications, to license turnkey, customized, Internet gaming systems to independent operators in exchange for participation in the licensees' revenues.

Starnet launches, a proprietary website licensed in Antigua to accept, process and manage wagers via the Internet.

Microgaming launches Cash Splash, the web's first progressive jackpot slot.

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Congress' foremost opponent to online gambling introduces the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, designed to make it illegal for any company to offer an online gambling product to US citizens.  The bill fails to pass.

Starnet Systems signs its first Internet gaming licensee, Atlantis Corp, operating out of Antigua Barbuda.

Frost and Sullivan report in a recent press release that the industry generated $834.5 million in revenue in 1998.

Boss Media signs its first license agreement with an external customer.

RCMP raid Starnet Communication's Vancouver office for suspected participation in illegal gambling.  While all gaming servers are located offshore, Canadian Authorities claim that the Starnet e-mail server which is located in Canada, is an extension of gaming activities and therefore in violation of the Canadian Criminal Code

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), reintroduces a revised Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, designed to make it illegal for any company to offer an online gambling product to US citizens.  The revised bill also fails to pass.

Microgaming forms a deal with a big five auditing firm (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) to review and report on casino payout percentages.

The first Australian Government licensed internet casino, Lasseter's, goes online.  Lasseter's operates under license from the Northern Territory Government, which moved quickly to legislate for and offer licenses to online casinos.  Other Australian states and territories progress with their own online gambling law and licensing considerations.

Boss Media´s shares are quoted on the OM Stockholm Exchange´s O-list.  

As at September 1999, Christian Capital Advisors estimated that there were approximately 700 casinos taking money bets over the Internet

Boss Media launches its new gaming software platform with multi-player functionality.

The Australian Federal Government passes its Interactive Gambling Moratorium Act, preventing any Australian Based online casino or sports book operators not already licensed and operating prior to May 2000, from operating.  Lasseters Online is the only interactive casino able to operate under the new legislation.

Migrogaming releases its second progressive internet slots game, Lots a Loot Progressive Slot.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) introduces a new Internet Gambling Prohibition Act to the US House of Representatives.  The bill fails to attract the required two thirds majority vote to pass

Cryptologic's annual report claims that the number of customers who have used its electronic payment system for online betting has climbed to 680,000 since operations began in 1996.

The UK sovereign territories of Gibraltar and the Isle of Man offer online sports betting licenses.  A number of large UK betting shops purchase licenses from these jurisdictions.

Microgaming releases 3 more of its progressive internet games: WowPot, Fruit Fiesta slots, and. SupaJax video poker progressives

Boss Media signs an agreement with South African giant Sun International Hotels Limited, its first license agreement with a land-based casino company.

Cryptologic lists on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol CRYP.

Casino Sur, the first online casino licensed in Argentina is launched.

Results of a survey published in PRNewswire (22 March 2001) claimed that approximately 8 million people had already gambled with real money online at that time.  

The Australian Federal Government passes legislation making it illegal for any Internet casino or sports book to offer its product to Australian residents.  The legislation contains significant concessions for local sportsbook and racing operators.

Nevada lawmakers pass a bill paving the way for licensed online casinos to operate out of Nevada.  It is estimated that it will still be a year or two before the drafting of license regulations and agreement from the US Department of Justice will allow the granting of the first licenses.

Starnet Communications is fined $100,000 for involvement in internet gambling.  No company officers were fined or charged.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission hosts its 20th online casino licensee, up from 12 the previous year.

2001 (September)
An online casino player wins  $414,119 playing the Rags to Riches slot game at The Sands of the Caribbean online casino.  This is the largest internet progressive jackpot win to date.

Alderney (British Channel Islands) passes legislation for Interactive Gambling, and the Alderney Commission is now is a position to accept licence applications.

The Gambling Review Report is released in the UK. Subject to rounds of negotiations before its recommendations become law, the review suggests legalizing all forms of online gambling, which would make Britain one of the few OECD countries to allow it.

The first online jackpot in excess of $1 million goes off.  Major Millions, Microgaming's 3 reel progressive game goes off and one lucky player takes home $1.5 million.

(eCommerce and Online Gambling Regulation and Assurance) online gaming's first universally recognized and respected regulatory body is founded, with a goal of regulating the industry and protecting users.  eCOGRA continues to operate today.

The UK seeks to become the centre of the online gambling world, as the US moves to restrict player access, while the UK looks to regulate.  PartyGaming PLC becomes the first online gambling 'pure play' to list on the London Stock Exchange.


The US Government passes the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, effectively closing the door to most US residents from playing at their chosen online casino or sportsbook.  Shares in listed US facing online gambling operators like Party Gaming and plummet.

The UK legislates to legalize and regulate online gambling.  Online casinos and sportsbooks are allowed to advertise through mass terrestrial mediums like television for the first time.

Mega Moolah, the internet's biggest progressive jackpot game goes off for the first time, netting one lucky player $5.5 million.


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