Online gambling, also called internet gambling, can be defines as risking money or items of material value for unsure results in an online environment. Just as in real life gambling it includes risky actions in the hope of desired results or playing games for the chance of winning or losing money. Online gambling often involves casino games or betting on sports. Some more specific examples are roulette, poker, lotteries, bingo or keno.
The History of Gambling
Officially, gambling dates back to the Palaeolithic period, even before written history. No matter how far you go back in time, evidence within our early history points out that there were signs of gambling activities in specific cultures many years ago. Back in the day, betting on fighting animals was for example very common, especially in China and parts of Asia. But also other games became popular early on. For example, researchers in Asia have found evidence of keno slips that were used around about 200 BC. In addition, most scholars agree that the first set of playing cards appeared in China around the 9th century. Close after that, as early as the 10th century, games such as lotto and dominoes appeared in China. Between the 9th and the 13th century much evidence of gambling and betting can be found across multiple cultures and parts of the world, even in Europe.
Around 1601, a written book by the author Don Quixote appeared in Spain, this book pointed to a game called Ventiuna, one of the earliest forms of the Black Jack game that we know and love today. The earliest gambling house opened its doors in 1638 in Italy, established in Venice. Close after casinos started to appear all over the continent and eventually found their way to the U.S.
So, now we know that gambling has been around for centuries and centuries, it may not come as a surprise that online gambling was invented close after the launch of the World Wide Web. The World Wide Web was launched to the general public around 1991. The first online casino found its way on the internet around 1994. In the late 1990’s, the popularity of online casinos increased rapidly. Whereas there were only 15 online casinos in the beginning 1996, before 1997 there were 200 online casinos more. Eventually in 1998 online gambling brought in a revenue of $830 million worldwide. That same year, online poker rooms were introduced and the world of online gambling peaked high.
But then around 1991, the developments in online gambling backfired. As the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act was introduced in the U.S. This legislation had a great impact on the world of online gambling and the developments and innovations that came with the growth of online gambling between 1996 and 1998. Revenues dropped immediately and many online gambling organizations went bankrupt.
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Online Gambling Today
Today the European market is the largest market for online gambling worldwide. Europe accounts for almost 50% of total online gambling revenues. However, gaming legislation in Europe is quite messy. There are some laws set by the European Union, but individual countries and parts of Europe have set their own laws as well. For example, the UK passed the Gaming Act of 2005 which is designed to control all forms of gambling in Wales, England and Scotland. In France, Spain, Italy and Portugal there are cleary-defined regulations that cover online gambling, however here, players are restricted to playing with players within their own countries and the tax rates are incredibly high, even up to 44%.
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The Netherlands is famous for its relaxed laws when it comes to drugs and prostitution, and also gambling online is almost completely legal in the Netherlands, but only on websites hosted by the Dutch themselves. When you are living in the Netherlands it can be quite hard to find online gambling websites hosted by Dutch, especially since the Dutch government blocked many of the online gambling websites a few years ago. So there is a problem to find good casino sites.