Online gambling, also known as Internet gambling, is a general term for gambling using the Internet.
In 1994 the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda passed the Free Trade & Processing Act, allowing licences to be granted to organisations applying to open online casinos. Before online casinos, the first fully functional gambling software was developed by Microgaming, an Isle of Man-based software company. This was secured with software developed by CryptoLogic, an online security software company. Safe transactions became viable and led to the first online casinos in 1994.
1996 saw the establishment of the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which regulated online gaming activity from the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake and issues gaming licences to many of the world's online casinos and poker rooms. This is an attempt to keep the operations of licensed online gambling organisations fair and transparent.
In the late 1990s, online gambling gained popularity. Internet gambling websites had increased from just 15 websites in 1996, to 200 websites in 1997. A report published by Frost & Sullivan revealed that online gambling revenues had exceeded $830 million in 1998 alone. In the same year the first online poker rooms were introduced. Soon after in 1999, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act was introduced, meaning a company could not offer any online gambling product to any U.S citizen. This did not pass. Multiplayer online gambling was also introduced in 1999. This was the first time people could gamble, chat and interact with each other in an interactive online environment.