The Evolution of Gambling

| August 13, 2013 | 0 Comments


Gambling and casinos in some form or another have been around as long as we have – or at least that’s the current thinking. There seems to be some evidence of people enjoying games of chance throughout all of written history, so it’s not a huge stretch to imagine that there have been places for people to gamble at since time immemorial.

In ancient China it’s recorded that gambling most certainly happened back in 2,300BC, for example. The Ancient Greeks, Romans, Elizabethans and every age right up till the present day seems to have some evidence for it.

But as for a casino in the form we recognise it today, this can probably be traced back to around 1638 when the Ridotto was opened in Venice. The gambling house was a place where people could gamble in a controlled way during the famous Carnevale season. By 1770 it seems the government considered it to be a form of vice and it was closed down.

In America, early places for gambling were known as saloons, which sprang up in St Louis, New Orleans, San Fransisco and Chicago. When gambling was outlawed in the early years of the 20th century these saloons obviously fell out of favour until gambling was legalised in Nevada in 1931, which is where the first legal casinos were set up. Las Vegas became, of course, the gambling capital of the world and when NewJersey allowed Atlantic City to host gambling in 1978, this quickly became the second city of gambling.

The late 90s slowly ushered in the promise of a new way of gambling when it became possible for companies to apply to run online casinos. And, as everyone knows, these have taken off in a huge way over the last 10 years. The reasons for the popularity of online gambling aren’t particularly difficult to work out – after all, it’s a fast and easy way to test the waters on the poker tables and by trying other casino games like baccarat, roulette and the slots. It can be pretty intimidating for someone new to gambling to head on into a brick and mortar casino and slap some money down on the tables – online casinos allows for anonymity while learning the ropes.

Real life casinos can often be reluctant to actively encourage poker as they don’t make as much money from it – they tend to make more revenue through slot machines, for example, rather than lots of poker tables. As online casinos, such as don’t have similarly huge overheads to worry about, they are far more welcoming to people who want to play poker.

Online poker also means people can play for very low stakes and in tournaments that don’t cost them anything to play in, which is obviously attractive to those who aren’t that loaded or are just starting out. Planet Poker was the very first online poker room to offer games with real money, back in 1998 and now there are hundreds of online casinos to choose from, many of which offer tempting opening offers and bonuses and also endorse different celebrity players.

As casinos move on even from online poker into downloadable casino apps, it just leaves the thought of where online gambling will be in another 20 years time? Virtual reality casinos beckon, surely?

Photo credit: goosmurf


Category: Entertainment

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