Back in 1996 online casino gambling was not as exciting as, say, Viper software. A lot of limitations confined games to the basics. Among them were ordinary blackjack, standard video poker and baccarat, tri-line and 5-line slots, cash splash slots single line, single and double zero roulette, standard craps, and stud poker Caribbean style.
Also prominent back then were lotteries and slots. Lotteries were absorbed into the online casinos when they as these were as simple as roulette and bingo, but slots had to enter the scene at a later time. Electro-mechanized slots were gradually put out of the scene because the investment for manufacturing them had to be recovered before they could be rid of.
Betting was the pits. Well, that time, it was amazing to be betting “online” because the concept was new. Debit-betting via credit cards was simply fantastic—hi-tech. But looking back today, it was slow, to put it mildly. Credit transaction took at least a week or something less than 14 days. So win or lose, one had to wait that long.
Then there’s the issue about online casino staff. When a problem came up and one needed assistance from a staff that spoke English as a third or fourth language, gambling frustrations doubled. Back then, it was tolerable because everything was a new concept. Miscommunication was a bit tolerable. But when the same difficulties occurred—plus the pressure of losing or delayed transactions—the situation sometimes blew temperaments. Today, a decade hence, online call agents are fluent American English speakers.
Online casino owners then mostly wanted anonymity, perhaps due to the pressure of anti-gambling sentiments strong in those days. Another thing was small-time syndicates targeting online casino owners. They annoyed and extorted money from them, threatening them with squealing their identities to the authorities or hacking their online systems. And these were just some of the hassles that operators back then suffered due to the witch hunt and lack of online casino organizations watching each other’s backs.
One of the earliest online casino set ups those times—and one of the most daring—was one based in Gibraltar in South Africa called the Gaming Club. Now in the umbrella of Belle Rock Entertainment Group, it has online auxiliaries scattered on the Web.
Playing the first online casino gambling was like man stepping on the moon the first time. Everything seemed the highest man could ever achieve.