THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTERNET GAMBLING
No consensus exists on when the first Internet casino began operating and who started it.
However, it is generally agreed that the first online casinos began operating sometime in 1995 or 1996.
Among the first was Intercasino, based in Antigua, which has positioned itself as one of the leaders in Internet gambling.
In 1996 the country legalized and licensed online gambling sites.
The companies that operate these Web sites are trade-zone corporations— that is,
foreign-owned corporations operating in specific areas of the country as if they were on foreign soil.
In Antigua, trade-zone corporations cannot produce products for domestic consumption,
so Antiguans are not allowed to participate in online gambling with any trade-zone companies located there.
Various agencies and private entities have attempted to estimate the extent of the online gambling industry,
including the National Gambling Impact Study Commission (NGISC),
the U.S. Department of Justice, and industry researchers
such as Christiansen Capital Advisors and Bear Stearns & Co.
Even though their estimates differ, these analysts agree that the growth of online gambling has been phenomenal.
In 1997 there were fifty to sixty Internet casinos in operation, most based in the Caribbean,
which earned approximately $300 million to $350 million.
By 2000 an estimated six hundred to seven hundred sites were
operating and revenues approached $2 billion. By 2007 the American Gaming Association (AGA)
estimates in the fact sheet “Internet Gambling” สมัครเล่นบาคาร่า