|The world’s first online gambling company has begun a yearlong celebration of the 25th birthday of its sportsbetting business, established in London in 1983. Intertops.com, which took the first online sports bet ever in 1996, this year also celebrates the tenth birthday of its online casino.|
While being the company to take the first online sports bet might have satisfied some, it was not the case with Intertops, who went on to accept the first mobile bet in 2001 and launched its own poker room in 2003. That coupled with excellenct customer and affiliate service meant Intertops saw themselves very much at the top of the industry.
The story actually began in April 1983 when founder Detlef Train offered the German sportsbetting market a new option by gaining a UK bookmaking licence and offering punters back in Germany fixed odds alternatives to the unsatisfactory offers of the state monopoly.
Detlef took these levels of ingenuity to a new high when he launched his business online, a move which many of his peers warned him not to undertake.
“Everyone told me to leave it well alone,” he recalls. “They said it would only ruin the reputation of my business. But my view on life is that one shouldn’t just accept things as they are, but start questioning and looking at things from different angles. I just ignored those who asked why anyone would ever want to place a bet on the Net. And with 30 million Internet users worldwide in the mid 90s I saw more huge potential for remote betting shops.”
Since then, Intertops have seen successful forays into online casino games, as well as mobile sports betting and casinos.
After the success of their online sportsbetting business, Intertops partnered with Microgaming to offer the online casino games to their customers as well. In 1997, with a strong monopoly on casinos in Austria, the company had to be split up. Train stayed with the traditional betting business in Austria whereas the online part of the company moved to Antigua and started its online casino in May 1998.
In 2001, Intertops was the first to take a sports bet via mobile phone and in 2006 launched its mobile casino with many of the Microgaming online casino games adapted for cell phones and powered by Spin3.
“Our introduction of both online and mobile betting has played a major role in making the business more democratic,“ says Michl Posch, Head of Marketing. “Every citizen can now decide what he wants to do and what not. He is no longer at the mercy of state regulation. Our whole business has always been customer-centric. It has to be as convenient as possible for the customer.”