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History of Gambling
There is little doubt that gambling is one of the oldest and most widespread pastimes to have been invented by mankind.
If we look at the history of gambling there is evidence that suggests that people have been playing games for money or for other stakes since at least 2600 BCE.
Early Gambling in Asia
Many of the earliest examples of gambling come from Asia. For example, the oldest set of gaming dice to ever have been discovered were found in what was once the city of Ur, in Mesopotamia. They were believed to have been used in a backgammon type game that we now know as the Royal Game of Ur and that was played from 2600 BCE or so.
Across in China, there are records of the Emperor Yao creating a game that the spectators would bet on. This was around 2300 BE. Many ancient Chinese games such as Go and Xiangqi are still popular today, while this country is also credited with inventing playing cards. If we fast forward to about 1500 BCE or so we can see that betting on dice games and racing was popular in India.
Early Gambling in Europe
In 539 CE the Roman Emperor Justinian banned gambling. Even before this, the Greeks enjoyed gambling and modern day poker is believed to have originated with the Minoan civilization in the Mediterranean.
We can also find stories in Europe of kings and emperors enjoying gambling and often making important decisions based on a roll of the dice. For example, it is said that King Olaf of Sweden and his namesake from Norway rolled dice to settle a territorial dispute back in 100 CE.
Casinos as we known them today really started out in US in the 19th century, although other types of gambling house had been present in Europe before this. The earliest American casinos were known as saloons and they first appeared in Chicago, San Francisco, New Orleans, and St Louis. They were set up as places where travellers could meet other people, have a drink and enjoy some gambling.
In recent times, countries all over the world have revised their gambling laws, often making it only legal to bet in certain cities or regions. For example, in the US, Nevada and New Jersey have profited greatly from gambling being illegal in most of the other states. In China, Macau is the gambler’s haven, while other places such as Monte Carlo, San José in Costa Rica, Singapore, and Paris all offer wonderful casinos.
Gambling History in Australia
Gambling for money has been enjoyed by Australians for a long time. The first official lottery to happen in the country was in 1881. Sports betting has also been traditionally popular here, with the first official horse racing event taking place in 1810.
The first casino appeared here in the early 1970s and proved to be a massive success, while the very first poker machines to be legally installed had already appeared back in 1956.
One of the biggest developments in the history of gambling has been the recent introduction of online gambling. This way of playing for money or just for fun only started out in the mid-1990s, when the first online casinos were opened under licence from Antigua and Barbuda.
Since then, it has become a massively popular way of playing all over the planet. In Australia, the boom in online casinos has seen it become one of the most widespread hobbies that a high percentage of Australians enjoy.
Now that online casinos have moved onto offering the likes of mobile casinos and live dealer games, it is hard to imagine that the trend towards online gaming is going to end anytime soon. Instead, it seems likely that this continues to grow even more.
As we have already seen, people throughout history have loved to gamble and these days it is now easier and more convenient than ever before.