How Gambling Became a Cultural Phenomenon: History and Perspectives of Gambling in the World

Time Of Info By TOI Desk Report   September 5, 2023   Update on : September 5, 2023

How Gambling Became a Cultural Phenomenon

Gambling as a form of entertainment and profit-making has evolved since it was first recorded to have been invented centuries ago. People used to bet using their belongings, and items, or sometimes provide their services as wagers when gambling before currencies were created.

​​Today, gambling is mostly conducted in land-based or online casinos such as Fair go casino Australia one of the most popular ones where fans gather to play games and get cash rewards for winning. The evolution of gambling can be briefly described as this, but it goes way deeper.

Just like every other primordial activity, gambling has been subjected to several speculations. Religion and culture have criticized the lessons that gambling teaches and its direct opposition to their core values as a community. But from a political perspective, gambling is bidirectional, resulting in various permissibility levels in different countries.

Without further ado, let’s tell you the history of gambling.

The History of Gambling

Gambling has existed for as long as anyone can remember. There is no exact moment when this activity can be said to have been invented. However, research has shown that the earliest evidence of gambling as a means of entertainment can be traced back to Ancient China.

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a. When gambling was first mentioned

The first form of evidence of the invention of gambling can be found in Ancient China and dates back to 2300 BC. Here, tiles were dug up and used to play a game of chance. This telltale sign can be seen in the famous “Books of Signs”, where a reference was made about “the drawing of wood” – alluding that the exhumed tiles represented some type of lottery game.

In addition to this evidence are keno slips that were used in 200 BC, which were used to provide funds for the expansion of public services by the state. Rumor has it that these funds were also used to aid the construction of the Great Wall of China. To this day, funds obtained from the lottery are being used to carry out state projects.

b. Rolling the Dice in the Ancient City of Rome

Rolling the Dice

In 500 BC, dice were first mentioned in Greek History by Sophocles, a Greek poet who claimed that a mythological hero that existed during the siege of Troy invented them. While this is the first time dice were mentioned, evidence points out that dice are way older. Archeologists have uncovered a pair of dice in 3000 BC from an Egyptian tomb. This showed that Ancient Romans and Greeks enjoyed gambling. So much so that it was later banned with a penalty imposed on anyone caught playing it.

Well, not long after, Romans got creative and invented chips that would be used in place of money. This crafty alternative was used to sway the guards and protect themselves from the harsh penalties of gambling if they were ever caught.

c. Back to China with Cards

Studies have shown that cards were first played and invented in the 9th century in China. However, the rules of the game are unclear and are believed to be a lot different from the 52-deck card game we now play today.

Other studies have also shown that the first cards to be invented came in Chinese Dominos but in paper form.

d. The invention of Baccarat

Every punter is familiar with Baccarat. But do you know how old it is? Well, this game dates back to the 1400s. The game was first mentioned in Italy before it was transferred to France to be continued as a two-player card game.

Baccarat also has a history of its own, but the rules of this game and its standards have been lost in time. So, there have been different variations of how the game should be played. However, the widely accepted standards used today emanate from Cuber under the influence of Britain.

e. The Reincarnations of Blackjack

There are different origin stories of the game of Blackjack. Many claim that the game came from the French game Trente-un (thirty-one) in 1570 or Quinze (fifteen) from the earlier decades in France, and some claim that it came from the Spanish game, Veintiuna – first mentioned in 1601 in a book written by famous author Don Quixote.

While all these stories exist, the only game that made its way to the United States and the early settlers from France was vingt-et-un. The game was later renamed Blackjack by Americans and has since been called that.

f. The Birth of Casinos in Italy

In 1638, a gambling house was created in Venice to give punters a space for them to perform their activities legally. Later in the 19th century, many were established throughout Europe and in the United States.

g. The Little Wheel in Paris

game of Roulette

In 1796, the game of Roulette was invented in the Paris gaming houses. Fifty years later, a version from the Europeans emerged. But Roulette didn’t make it to the limelight, until the Monte Carlo casino began to use the European version of Roulette, which had just one green zero, in the 19th century.

h. When Poker Came In

Poker also has a lot of origin stories with a large portion of its inventors lost to time. The game seems to have just been existing for a long time and to be growing all by itself. The only evidence of the invention of this game can be traced back to a report by Joseph Crowell, an English Actor, which claimed that a similar form of Poker was being played in the beautiful old New Orleans in 1829.

i. The First Gambling Machine

Gambling Machine

In 1891, Messrs Sittman invented the first gambling machine. And later on, Charles Fey invented the Liberty Bell machine in San Francisco. The Liberty Bell machine helped regulate winnings and marked the birth of the slot machine era.

j. The impact of Microgaming

Online gambling began with Microgaming in 1994. The gaming studio used its experience in creating physical games to create a world for virtual gamers who couldn’t make it to the way to land-based casinos. Today, the online casino industry is worth billions and is played in several countries by gambling enthusiasts all over the world.

k. The New Gambling

With the advent of virtual gambling, it is no surprise that this entertainment and money-making form has become mobile. Players are now resorting to playing their favorite games online rather than go to a casino; another decision influenced by the recent pandemic in 2020. Recent studies have shown that the use of mobile phones to access online casinos significantly grew in 2020 when compared to its use in 2019.

online casinos chart

Many gambling sites have now emerged within the past decade and have amassed millions of players globally. The online platform is now players’ top choice due to the availability of various game options, payment options, and convenience.

What is the future of betting?

The future of gambling still rests in the virtual space. We expect players to explore more online casinos and the game providers to develop more game options with improved graphics and audio. Live Dealer Games will also be a great deal, as it brings players closer to the land-based casino ambiance that they so much crave.

With the power of the internet and AI, we should also expect that more lost histories of gambling will be discovered with their original standards made clear. There is also a high possibility that AI will streamline gambling and offer profitable staking options.

Read more: How Gambling Became a Cultural Phenomenon: History and Perspectives of Gambling in the World


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