Online Gambling


 When is the first time a well-known phrase appears in print? explores the history and origins of
famous people, places, things, and sayings

It may seem linke online gambling has been with us forever (not that I’ve ever tried it, mind you…). But when you get right down to it, the internet is a young thing, and so are all our internet-related vices.

Online gambling, it turns out, has a FirstMention of 1993….a full year before web surfing came into being.

The Boston Globe of September 25, 1993, carried an article that wondered out loud if online services had peaked?

Ha ha!

They also wondered how the services could attract new customers. Sin reared its ugly/lovely head, right in the article’s headline. Listen to what they had to say.

Online services covet

sin markets

Facing flattening overall membership growth, online services will soon embark on a battle for customers that could result in such marketing ploys as online gambling and sexually explicit material…

Consumers plug into online services over phone lines using personal computers equipped with data-sending-and-receiving modems. Such services offer a variety of games, forums for exchanging messages and access to databases and other information. ..”The industry has really gone flat…”

…online services have been considering some form of “telegambling…” Prodigy…had approached some state lottery commissions about selling tickets online.

But…online services were concerned about the “unattractive publicity” that might result from edging into gambling. Increasingly explicit sexually oriented material might also lure subscribers…

It’s hard to see the future sometimes, ain’t it?


Our FirstMention research is carried out in many sources, including historical newspaper archives, online family history records, state archives, and old books.