1994 saw the passing of the Free Trade & Processing act in the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda. This allowed licenses to be granted to some organizations applying to open new online casinos. Before this point the first truly functional gaming software was developed on the Isle of Man by Microgaming, a software company. When safe transactions became possible it led to the first real Internet based casinos but this was not until 1994. By the year 2001 the number of gamblers participating online was estimated at 8 million. The growth would continue at an alarming rate despite lawsuit challenges & new legislation regarding the industry. In 2008 the gambling revenue was estimated at $21 billion worldwide, one of the largest internet businesses there is.
The state of online gambling in the US is currently in flux. Though there is no federal legislation that makes it illegal for US residents to engage in gambling activities online, there is legislation in place that target US-based financial institutions that handle payment processing for online gambling-related activities.
That’s what’s going on on the federal side of things. And currently, bills have been introduced that would legalize online gambling across the board – and this issue is being looked at extremely closely by the Obama administration.
While Congress clears up the admittedly murky legislation in regards to online gambling, some online casinos have taken an overly-reactionary, knee-jerk stance in the meantime, and don’t allow US members to sign up at their spots. Don’t worry – there’s a page just for you US players: if you’re looking for online casinos that accept US players, we gotcha covered.
For now, here’s a listing of some of the best “world” online casinos that the internet has to offer:
Europa Casino uses Playtech software to power its games, and as expected, game play is top-notch. If you get a chance, make sure to take the exceptional “all pay” Grail Maiden slot game out for a spin. Know that Playtech has recently been bit by the Marvel bug, and their portfolio of slot games includes many games inspired by Marvel-themed films (which were themselves based on the comic books), such as Iron Man, X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four, Elecktra and Blade.
First-time depositors can receive up to £2,400 as a welcome bonus.
At InterCasino, first time depositors can get up to £€$125 as a welcome bonus. The games here are powered by CryptoLogic, which serves as a nice alternate universe to Europa Casino’s game offerings. Both have lineups inspired by Marvel comics, but whereas Europa Casino lineup is based on the films, InterCasino’s is based on the actual comics themselves. Very interesting concept here.