Poker as a form of gambling has been in existence for nearly two centuries but has reached new heights with the arrival of its online version. Various online casino gambling sites have sprouted in the past years driven mainly by the popularity of poker. However, online poker did not pioneer casino gambling online, as sportsbooks were the first to arrive in the Internet during the mid-90’s.
One of the first online gambling casinos was from Microgaming, which arrived in 1994 and is now a popular gaming software developer.
The first mainstream online gambling casino was Planet Poker, which was established in 1998. A number of bigger and better online casino gambling sites came up after a few years. The initial rate structure of 5% and a max rate of as high as $3 have been the industry standard ever since.
By that year there were around 700 online gambling casinos, while a March 2001 survey found that nearly 8 million people have gambled their money in the Internet. A year later, the first millionaire from an online casino was produced. The lucky winner pocketed $1,594,649 on May 30 2002.
Other online casino gambling sites were able to avoid no money transfers online poker fate with the use of Neteller’s e-cash system. Neteller is today known as having the top funds transfer system for the online casino gambling sector. The e-cash system frees the player from using a wire transfer service or a credit cards when depositing in an online poker room. Neteller’s system has also minimized fraud and boosted the credibility of the industry.
2001 was an important year for online casino gambling given the entry of the two industry giants, Party Poker and Poker Stars. Party Poker’s overtook Paradise in 2003 as the industry’s top player with its strategic advertising on television.
In addition, Party Poker introduced the World Poker Tour, which have become attractions across the US. The intriguing story of Chris Moneymaker also contributed to the popularity online poker gambling. Mr Moneymaker paid a $40 fee to enter a satellite poker contest of Poker Stars.
His victory in the small tournament gave him a spot on the World Series of Poker. Mr Moneymaker defeated 839 other online poker contestants and won the top prize of $2.5 million. That year’s World Series of Poker tournament is still believed to be as the biggest ever staged in its short history.
Mr Moneymaker’s inspiring Cinderella story attracted more beginners to learn online poker and the game expanded to new territories in 2004.
Revenues of online casino gambling firms rocketed during the year, which also saw the entry of new players such as Full Tilt Poker.
In addition, the UK government’s recent passage of a bill that legalizes and regulates Internet gambling casinos indicates that online poker is close to becoming a global phenomenon.