Online gambling has been available since 1996, the year in which the first ever real-money online casino and the first online sportsbook launched. The implementation in 1994 of the Free Trade & Processing Act gave the nation of Antigua and Bermuda the right to grant the first licenses for online gambling, paving the way for software companies to develop online games that could be played for money with a chance of winning cash prizes. Microgaming launched the first online casino in 1994, but the first real-money play casino was introduced by online financial transaction specialists CryptoLogic two years later.
From these two companies sprang an internet phenomenon, starting the online gambling market which is predicted to reach a value of more than $94 billion by 2024. Today, the estimated 26% of the total global population who gamble can easily access a site and find almost every iteration of slots, card and table games that they would find in a brick and mortar casino, meaning an online casino is at an advantage as they can attract players with busy lifestyles who are looking for the convenience of being able to play from anywhere.
Esports, or competitive computer gaming, has a much longer history, with the first recognised event being held in 1972. Competitive computer gaming remained popular throughout the eighties and early nineties, but it was with the widespread launch of the internet into people’s homes that eSports in its current format began to really take