According evidence, the history of gambling can be traced back to time immemorial. It’s one of the oldest activities as shown by the equipment and writings found in tombs and other places. Dice of different materials and shapes have also been removed from ancient Roman, Egyptian, and Grecian digs. Old cave walls and dice like objects which are as old as 40,000 years depicts early games. Gambling also features a lot on Greek mythology where Hades, Zeus, and Poseidon threw dice up the universe.
The earliest evidence of gambling
Although it’s obvious that forms of betting have been happening since the dawn of history, the earliest evidence of this originates from china where some tiles were discovered which appeared to have been used to play a game of chance. The Chinese books of songs referred confirmed that they might have been used in lottery type of games. There is also evidence of keno slips which were used in some form of lottery in 200bc to fund states work such as the construction of the great wall. Throughout history, lottery continued to be used for civic purposes.
Dice as form of gambling
Many people also see the origin of gambling in religious functions whose aim was to interpret and predict the future and explain certain occurrences. By throwing small objects that might lead to even or odd results could easily count the outcome of certain happening. While even outcomes were an indication of good fortune, odds were considered ominous. These counts sometimes led to the meaning of patterns in major events. Some people believed that chances of acting with positive fate were dictated by chance occurrences other than a chance of free will.
Knucklebones also found their way into divination games and rite. While they were not cubes, their sides were assigned numeric values according to the relative chances of the sides being thrown. These bones were thrown in pairs with the significance varying with the game. These were used until the Chinese came up with evenly shaped and dense dice made of other materials such as stone ivory and stone. Although they also designed alternative shapes like the pyramids the most popular ones were the balanced six sided cube.
Early forms of cards were also rooted a lot in divinations with the Korean cards made of oiled paper and silk. These not only inspired early Chinese money but were also used for fortune telling. Although cards depicting aristocracy and deities also appeared in many cultures they were hard to come by before the age of printing press. Evidence of gambling has been found in places such as china, Mesopotamia, India, Persia, and Egypt. During this time, dice was the gambling tool liked by many simply because it was easy to construct. Egyptian culture also developed similar games such as board games that involved moving pieces of dice on board according to the outcome. Betting on animal fights and races also came along especially in India and china.
Gambling in Europe
Western gambling grew a lot in Western Europe and it was founded on Greco-Roman gambling tools and practices. However, issues concerning morality and ethics clouded the scene. While kings could do what they want, the clergy had a set of rules for themselves and gambling continued to develop and progress. Playing cards entered Europe from Arabia and Asia in t14th century. Within 100 years they had entered Europe and by 15th-century card games were more popular than dice. From the 19th century, some craps in the name of hazard also evolved. Lotteries also became important and popular during the middle ages. They were used to upload unsold goods in Geneva in the 16th century with queen Elizabeth herself sanctioning the first lottery giving away royal money, silverware, and tapestry.
While gambling styles continued to evolve in many ways, in European dominions and local Asians the path to modern casinos could be traced in North American continent. Between 1600 and 1800 gambling attitude varied from one place to another. English settlers were also very much comfortable with the liberal gambling positions in the English nations. Puritans, on the other hand, saw gambling as a moral decay that they did not want. Despite these, they saw the love for gambling as an opportunity to fund war and public works. Renowned founding fathers such as Ben Franklin, George Washington, and John Hancork also promoted gambling. Horse racing also became popular in the 19th century but betting was just between the owners, staff, and a small group of their adherents.
Gambling in the US
According to studies, United States has never had any straightforward relationship with gambling. While gambling dates back to the time when the first European settlers came to America puritans banned gambling in their new settlements. However, those who were coming from England had a more lenient view about gambling and were ready to tolerate it. This different view has continued until now. In 1910, pressure led to the prohibition of gambling all over the country. Since this was very difficult to enforce, gambling continued in a discreet manner. The great depression and the Wall Street crash in the early 1930s led to it being legalized once again. This was one way of dealing with the poverty that they had experienced during this time. While gambling is legal in many states including Nevada and Las Vegas, online gambling is still not very popular in the United States. Many international casinos are still not accepting Americans.
Although California had a hardline approach towards gambling, Nevada was a bit friendly. This means that gambling activities were done in a different way. This actually led to the laws being discriminatory. In fact, gambling endeavors such as lottery and horse races became infested with fraud and cheaters. The history of gambling changed a lot with the onset of the internet. With the first web browser being released in 1993, American online service also came about. A year later, the first online casino was launched and other online regulatory bodies also came along. Nowadays, there are many regulatory jurisdictions that regulate at least 2000 casinos. These casinos offer a variety of classic casino table games and many slot machines. Some even provide a live dealer for their table games.
Gambling has evolved a lot from throwing knucklebones to online casinos. However, much of the world has advanced such that adults are nowadays required to be responsible for their actions. Although the confusion and superstition are still there, the opportunities to enjoy money have become much better. You can even bet that this will become better. Well, that is the history of gambling.