Online Casinos

The massive surge in popularity experienced by online casinos in the last decade represents a major 21st Century phenomenon, changing the face of international gambling.

Online casinos offer gambling opportunities to those who might not enjoy the hustle and bustle of the casino scene and prefer the comfort of their own home, as well as those without access to casinos.

Because of stringent American gambling laws, the online casino industry has mainly developed in the Caribbean and other offshore areas.

South African hotel and casino resort magnate, Sol Kerzner, licensed his online Atlantis casino on the Isle of Man in 2000, making it the first online casino based in Great Britain.

Kerzner developed a brand-new concept – the thematic online casino. Atlantis remains unique, offering five-figure slots payouts and progressives, not to mention free trips to Kerzner’s flagship resort, Atlantis on Paradise Island in Bahamas.


The world’s first online casino, Internet Casinos, Inc. (ICI) first appeared in August 1995, operating with 18 different casino games.

ICI has always operated out of the Turks and Caicos Islands to avoid prosecution in the US. In Asian and European countries, many online gaming companies are also forced to operate offshore for fear of prosecution.

In 1999, online gambling expenditure reached $845 million. Just 3 years later, this figure had rocketed to $4.5 billion.

By 2004, this figure had almost doubled to $8.5 billion, and the worldwide market for online gambling is currently estimated at a mind blowing $49 billion! This leaves no doubt as to the phenomenal growth of online casinos and the online casino blog.

Threat to Real-Life Casinos

Naturally, the staggering online gambling explosion has been a cause for concern for operators of traditional casinos.

Some fear that online casinos could spell the end for real-life gaming, but one need only look at the changing face of real-life casinos to realise that their continued existence should be safe.

The rise of the hotel and casino resort complex has changed the face of casino gambling, incorporating it into a wider holiday package and using the casino itself as a draw card for the resort.

Many people still have serious reservations about online casinos, with points of concern including gambling addiction, ease of underage access to sites and anti-gambling moral issues.

Interesting Facts

  • The first online casino jackpot of over $1 million was won in 2002.
  • In 2003 Chris Moneymaker became the first online qualifier to win the Main Event at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and earning a pot of $2.5 million.
  • By 2006 there were about 2 300 active online gambling sites on the Internet – an average rate of 230 new sites a year!

For a look at the future of casinos in Europe, click here.