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.

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The Difference Between Online Gambling and Land-Based Gambling

In principle, both online gambling and land-based gambling are the same thing. In the widest sense, in both situations you gamble, and you can probably win or lose. However, that’s just about the only thing they have in common. The fight over which is better will start here. Many people are still arguing on both sides of the coin, though really, the battle has yet to stop. To understand their points of argumentation and, hopefully, get to have a side of your own, an objective analysis is important.

The Convenience

In gambling, convenience is of high importance. You are suppose to have fun, thus why would you want to complicate matters any longer? Complications relating to the need for convenience regrettably arise naturally in online or land-based gambling.

These complications, for land-based gambling, have to do with the truth that casinos and gambling sites which are land-based are far away from each other. Las Vegas is the place you may go if modern gambling is what you truly want. There are no other casinos that comes close, aside from Las Vegas. So there are many of disadvantages in land-based gambling in convenience.

Then again, it is a much more accessible and convenient, doing it online. There is no sign present that the internet is stopping short of offering you a pleasing gambling experience, and it is everywhere.

Experience the Richness

Land-based casinos assures a richness of experience that you cannot get elsewhere, if you can gain access to it. The moment you hold your cards while playing poker or when you look at the ball rolling about the roulette table or as you press the button in playing slots, the richness can be experienced. Also, you get to see your opponents face-to-face. Online casinos can never have a bit of this. Since your entirely by yourself, and you get connected with your opponents by means of a Chat function, there is one I assume.

Safety and Security Issues

Security and safety are big issues in both online and land-based gambling. In online gambling, trusting a banking option can be hard to do. Above that, an online casino may close in on you any minute since it may be unstable enough. If worse comes to worst, this can bring about situation which is problematic. Land-based gambling is said to be the same where gamblers, aggravated at their losing streaks, becoming violent is always a threat.

The Winning Potential

Online casinos must have a third-party software for you to be sure of its fairness. With it, an online gambling site can be ascertained whether or not it can be trusted. In fact, if it says it’s fair, then your probability to win in online gambling can be sure as the same as that in land-based.

Customer Relations

From online casino to online casino, customer relations is relative. There are some online casinos that treat their customers finely, while some the opposite. Land-based goes the same, where the value for customer differ from one gambling joint to another.

The Truth About Online Gambling and Credit Cards

The credit card companies lobbied for laws governing online gambling with credit cards, although one would think that people would be the ones hesitant to their credit or debit cards online.

The main reason behind the shift in laws is that too many people have made it a habit to create debt that they cannot repay. Lawsuits have pardoned the debt, paid lawyer fees in full and left credit histories untouched. This is good for the people in debt, but bad for the credit card companies who end up losing a lot of money.

Response from Credit Card Companies

Charge card companies have decided to exact stricter regulations regarding credit balances by amending the terms and conditions surrounding receiving a card. Now you find higher interest rates incurred for particular transactions, so hopefully the user thinks twice before creating debt in certain ways.

Avoiding Financial Difficulty

Many people struggle with gambling addiction and online gambling with charge cards make it easier to spend large amounts of money than when gambling at a land-based casino. Many land-based casinos even advise players to leave their cards at home, so that they are not tempted to spend more than they can afford. Visiting online casinos makes this discipline even harder because generally you access these games from home. It is best that you then have someone you trust take responsibility of your credit and debit card while you play so that you do not end up making rash decisions regarding your money.

What Does the Law Say?

Some countries and states have designated areas where gambling is legal and those where it is not. This means that you could easily be breaking the law when pursuing online gambling with credit and debit cards. Online gambling is already illegal in the United States of America and this has led to interesting convictions in courts whereby credit card companies are being persecuted for allowing the activity to take place instead of the player for gambling online.

No More PayPal

You can no longer use PayPal as a direct payment option for online gambling and the majority of accredited online gambling sites have removed any mention of PayPal. This means that players do not have the option of transferring money from their MasterCard or Visa to PayPal accounts in order to gamble online.

Credit institutions each have their own policies regarding online gambling with credit cards and it is best that you familiarize yourself with those that apply to you and your credit card company. American Express, for instance, offers credit services managed independently from other banking institutions, while MasterCard and Visa is affiliated with many different banks around the world.

If you still want to use your credit card for online gambling, some casinos have developed a method that bypasses PayPal and the credit card bans against online casinos. Simply put, you use your credit or debit card to buy a “gift card”. You then use the gift card in the online casino, and MasterCard, Visa or other card company sees a purchase for a gift card.