Online gambling first appeared on the internet in the mid 1990s. In 1994 Microgaming software was founded and still has the corner market today in many of the online casinos. Microgaming is chip software that runs the various machines found in land and online casinos. There is some debate as to who was the first casino to pop up on the internet and most would say InterCasino first appeared in 1996. However; there are others who claim that Microgaming’s Gaming Club was the first online in 1995.From the first casino to go live on the internet, casinos continue to improve their operations online and tweak the software, servers and connections that cater to the players on the World Wide Web. Regardless of slow bandwidth causing connection problems for the players, the industry still raked in an estimated $834 million in 1998.Intertops was the first online sports-book to appear in 1996; however they have been in operation long before that by taking phone bets since 1983. Intertops is still going strong today and is satisfying over 180 countries with their service.Online poker first sprang up at the start of 1998 and was facilitated by Planet Poker. Following suit was Paradise Poker in 1999, Party Poker and Poker Stars in 2001. Planet Poker is still in operation; however they no longer allow real money to exchange hands. By 2008 Party Poker had lost the lead in the industry to Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker, estimated by the number of players online.The popularity of online gambling does not seem to be decreasing since its birth. With state of the art technology, online casinos have the ability of offering real time play and instant spin capability, thus satisfying all sectors of the gambling industry and increasing revenue. The casino software available today is not only advanced for the players utmost enjoyment but is completely secure.In 2010 the online gambling industry grew by 12.5% with gross revenues of close to $29.95 billion, regardless of the perceived recession. The online casino sector grew an estimated 13.3% in 2010 and brought in an estimated $2.67 billion. The most money contributing to the gambling revenue online is generated by sports betting at about $12 billion.Online bingo stole the lead in being the fastest growing sector for 2010, estimated at 28.4% growth and to the tune of $2.67 billion. Although poker is the most talked about, it was deemed the slowest growing online gambling sector which generated about $5 million.In 2006 many of the online gambling companies decided not to allow USA players spend money in their establishments anymore due to the uncertainty regarding laws of offshore gambling, following the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. There was a great debate regarding different states that were legally able to gamble and those who were not. Many of the casinos revised their policies regarding USA play since that time and now the majority of online gambling establishments will again accept USA players.
Gambling has existed thousands of years ago. We, as human beings, have the natural instinct to survive so in order to do this, we need to take the risks or gamble and hope to achieve victory in return. Gambling existed in many forms. People usually gamble on who will get the largest land or who will win the war. People use coins and dices to decide on their fate and these basic notions had led to the development of casino gambling, which is very popular nowadays. With the popularity of casino gambling taking its toll for several decades now, people have learned to adapt to such popularity. Today, casino gambling has embarked on a new journey and this is to share the excitement of casino gambling to the entire world.The Beginnings of Online Casino IndustryIt all started in 1994 at a small island in Antigua and Barbuda. This was the same year when the legalization of online gambling was passed in Antigua. Because of Antigua and Barbuda, internet gambling has moved on to the next generation and continues to soar high up to this present date. Prior to the launching of the first online casino, gaming software were developed. Microgaming is the first gaming software provider that was used to power online casinos. Cryptologic, an online security software company, made the necessary steps to make online gaming safe and secure as possible.The online casino industry definitely didn’t have a convenient start, the industries tackled issues on legality and addiction to gambling. A lot of people never really like the idea of gambling online so they promoted anti-gambling campaigns to battle its approval.Online Casino Industry “The Present Time”The internet definitely made great contributions to the development of online gambling. With the evolution of technology, people can enjoy their favorite casino game anytime, anywhere. But many people, especially US officials, seriously detest the legalization of online gambling. Despite the legality issues, many people still want to become part of the online gambling industry. Today, the online gambling industry is definitely on the verge of becoming one of the biggest profitable industries in the world. Online casinos continue to increase in number and various programs to promote online gambling like tournaments and World Series have already been set to provide only the best for every player. The online gambling industry is definitely here to stay and it will continue to surpass all obstacles and rise stronger than ever.
There is a wealth of information on the internet about gambling and betting. How to start a gambling website, what do people bet on, is a betting exchange better than a sports book or casino website, or do users prefer betting online rather than betting offline? What is lacking in many of these posts is not the information they provide on starting a gambling website, but rather exactly where to start. So Where do you start, you ask? and how do you start? Would you require funding when thinking of starting your own gambling website? Are there legal pitfalls in running an online sports book or casino gambling website?Asking these questions is only a tip of the iceberg in knowing exactly what you are getting yourself into in running a betting exchange or any of the other gambling websites, but knowing the answers will better your chance or odds in running a successful online gambling site. So where do you start? You can search and search around the world wide web and gather all the information (highly recommended) on starting your own casino, running a proper betting exchange, or on providing a fair online sports book atmosphere to your users, but knowing exactly how to use this information is key in running your outfit.Before we get into how to use the information you gather properly, you may want to visit some of these places if you have not already done so: gambling forums, casino pages, sports website, news pages on gambling, pages on the “internet gambling regulation act” and how it will affect your online website, laws governing gambling and paying close attention to the dates the country each specific information pertains to and so on.By now you must be thinking this is a bit to extreme. But ask yourself this: do you know what each gambler want, do you know what will make them use your site over the next Joe website. Simply put you need to know the things that will drive advertisers, sponsors to your site (funding) and most importantly what will drive users to your site. You can have the best house on the block but if not one knows about your house or you, well you get the picture.If you have visited the suggested headings listed above and read up a bit more on gambling and the laws governing online sports book, casinos, poker rooms and betting exchanges and still wish to continue then read on my friend, you have gotten over the first hurdle. Now that we have you thinking outside the box and have a better understanding on what’s in store for you lets tackle the first and very most important question you would first need answered “Is gambling legal”.Now this is the most important because if you are thinking of conducting or running a gambling website in a country, city, state, province, town, what ever it may be and its not legal. Like monopoly you will be fined or worst you will go directly to jail. Sorry boys and girls but we need to make one thing clear here being online business doesn’t mean a thing to the government and the authorities. You will need to register a business or acquire a business license (not the same as a gambling license), you will need hosting and you will need a bank account to hold the money generated from your sports book, betting exchange, poker or casino website. So finding out if gambling is legal where will be running your business is extremely important.To give you a better picture of things 9/10 planning to run a gambling website have had to opt for an offshore operation. Why you ask? Well that obvious of course. In places like Costa Rica there are laws in place for gambling, but there are no law against online gambling neither is there a need for a gambling license (more on gambling license later), but you will again have to do your research, if you are serious about running a sports book or any of the other gambling websites, prepare yourself to gather information. Here is Tip #1 – Speak to a Lawyer (a reputable one if you can) they will shed a LOT of light on your situation and point you in the right direction.So this brings us to our next question, licensing, and no its not your drivers license. A gambling license is required to run a betting exchange, sports book, casino, poker or any other gambling website most of the time but not always. This is why again you will need to do your research. But you know what they say, when in doubt get one. That was a joke Joe. If you are really unsure speak to that lawyer friend that you spoke to in tip #1 about this and any other documents you may need to complete this process, ask your local gambling or gaming authorities/associations in the jurisdiction where you plan to run your online gambling website for advise. So remember a gambling license is recommended but may not be required. Tip #2 Visit the local gambling authorities.By now you should have gathered enough information to get you on the right track and keep you out of jail or worst a state prison.Let us touch on a few more key areas on running your own gambling website. You will need some (the more the better) research and marketing to be done. But haven’t you already gathered enough of your own research? No Joe. That was just information gathering, getting your feet wet, getting to know how the industry thinks. Don’t assume anything. There are rules to every game, and yes there are rules to running an online business and especially a sports book, betting exchange, poker room or casino. Just because you know a little about running a website, the rules and strategies change for each business, and you will definitely need to know about these rules if you are even dreaming of becoming successful in the online gaming and gambling industry. This doesn’t mean visiting all those forums and readings were for nothing, they will definitely help when you are ready to run your advertising and marketing campaign, you will be more than glad that you did.If you have not already done a business and/or marketing plan this will more than likely lead to the development of one. Getting to know your target market, trends, location, gender, users’ habits, wants and dislikes etc will all help you to become better aware of your strategies and help in your success. So hire a reputable marketing company or speak with a friend or someone in the marketing field that can shed a bit more light on your exact situation and point you in a better direction. You don’t want to find out the hard way that the market you were targeting does not care much for gambling. Tip #3 Get proper research done.This brings us to our next area of interest “staff or team”. From your information gathering and research you must have realized that ever if you may want to make this a one man show you will need a team or some sort of staff. Now a team does not mean you have to hire on a full time staff. Even big time giants like Microsoft, IBM, Logitech contracts out from time to time. It just means you will need a little more than just yourself in certain areas. Even if you know the gambling world it would be wise to contract some professionals in key areas (even if its for a little while) to show you some hidden places you have not yet covered. You would definitely need a technical someone or a development company that will be able to handle any problems you may encounter, updates you may need for your website, programming you might require, designs you may want to give you that look and feel to set you apart from your competition etc. You will most likely need a bookie, bookmaker, (maybe more than one) who knows about bookmaking to set, update, prepare events, lines and odds on your sports book, casino, betting exchange or poker website. So a team or individual staff is definitely a must, but can be inexpensive if you plan properly and consider contracting. Tip #4 Put together a proper team.Now we’ve touched a bit on your website, but what sort of website or software will you require. The next on our list will be Software. First ask yourself what sort of gambling website will this be; A full Casino, poker, Betting Exchange, sports book or better yet why not all? This is where your research and information gathering comes into play, review ask questions, speak to your lawyer, and make a solid decision. What are the risk factors, who are my competitors, where do you get my line feeds from? Those are all questions that should have been included in your research and answered by now.After that is settled it is now time to choose a development company that specializes in online gaming (more specific online gambling). Most if not all would already have products readily available that have been tested and will usually do modifications to fit your needs, it is usually more cost effective than having a website developed and put together from beginning to end. Software can range in prices, expect to pay between EUR 10,000 EUR to EUR 60,000 EUR. Some places of interest may be: Playtech (Rated for their Casino software), E-Prompt C’s BetMore – BetMore Software (Rated for its betting exchange & sports book software), Microgaming (Rated for their poker software). Tip #5 Get good software.Well that should be it. But lets not forget the last and one of the most important on our list “Financing”. Sports book, betting exchange, poker, and casino websites are by far the most expensive business operations you can ever run, and this does not change the facts for an online operation. You do not need a building, but you will need hosting, you do not need slot machines but you will need software, you do not need cashiers but you will need payment merchants and/or gateways. Speak to your lawyer, speak with your marketing and research team, they will give you pointers to get funding, you will definitely require money to run this business constantly, so find sponsors, investors that will partner with you unless of course you have the cash and is willing to use your own money, Here is a hint you will need more than just EUR 500K EUR. Tip #6 Get funding.So you see it’s not rocket science but it goes without saying with my final Tip to you: “Don’t fail to plan, it would only lead to you planning to fail”.Good luck!