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A Brief History of Gambling

Last Updated on 2024/01/24

Many people think that gambling is as old as human civilization. Though this is probably true, we prefer seeing evidence rather than forming our opinions based on other opinions. That’s why we researched lots of history books and online magazines to figure out the exact period of time when gambling truly became a common social activity.

And let us admit that this research really opened our eyes because games of chance are way older than we expected. It turns out the human species has come a long way from primitive games to modern no KYC online casinos without verification requirements. And even though the latter impress us with their instant withdrawals paired with limited identification needs, older versions of gambling are nothing short of spectacular, too. Let us show you why.

Early Forms of Gambling in Ancient Civilizations

The very first clues marking the dawn of the history of gambling can be tracked all the way to the ancient civilizations some three millennia ago. We are talking about the likes of Egypt and Mesopotamia, the so-called cradles of civilization responsible for many social and scientific breakthroughs. Chinese history also saw some early signs of gambling in the BC period, most notably in the field of rudimentary card games.

Middle Ages to Renaissance

This era gave birth to many forms of gambling: Dice games, card games, and even betting on events like jousting tournaments. This form of entertainment didn’t have a huge financial impact on players, but it did influence their social communities by bringing people closer together. Despite periodic attempts by authorities to prohibit gambling, it persisted in both formal and informal settings. That includes both royalty courts as well as bustling marketplaces.

The 19th Century

The history of casino gambling starts in the 19th century. By that point, most people learned about gambling or even tried it first-hand in some form. This was the period of urbanization when increased leisure time provided fertile ground for the proliferation of gambling venues.

Popular games (poker and roulette, to name but a few) became the hottest topics in saloons and riverboat casinos. These games turned into staples of entertainment in burgeoning cities across Europe and the United States. This century also witnessed the making of the first professional gamblers such as Doc Holliday in the American West.

Las Vegas and the Birth of Modern Casinos

We strongly believe that the casino industry as such did not truly exist before the rise of Las Vegas. This was a unique and transformative phenomenon that reshaped entertainment. 

Las Vegas used to be a desolate desert outpost, but it soon emerged as the epicenter of the gambling world. The city was packed with iconic resorts (the Flamingo, Sands, the Riviera, etc.) by the middle of the 20th century. All of a sudden, each casino had to have its special theme as well as an array of entertainment options to become truly competitive. Such an approach was brand new back then, but it paved the way for other casinos that soon emerged all over the globe.

source: freepik

Evolution of Gambling Technologies

Traditional casinos had little competition before the early 2000s when online gaming platforms changed everything. This technology was truly revolutionary in terms of casino accessibility, though it used to be quite simple in the beginning.

Online Gambling

Online casinos quickly gained popularity just because they matched contemporary lifestyles. Almost everyone got an Internet connection, which allowed people who previously weren’t eager to try casino games to change their minds and explore the new gaming realm. Online gambling helped players access a broad portfolio of games:

–        Casino classics

–        Poker rooms

–        Sports betting

–        Bingo and lottery

The ease of accessibility was also coupled with hard-to-believe bonuses. Such details attracted a wide range of new players who all wanted to play digital games whilst earning money on the go. This was practically impossible just a few years before.

Mobile Gambling

Do you possess a smartphone? It’s a silly question that probably doesn’t even require an answer. We bet you might as well be reading our article on a mobile device! Online casinos figured out that most players are now active smartphone users, so they decided to approach a new generation of gamblers in two ways:

–        By optimizing their websites for mobile usage

–        By designing dedicated mobile apps for smartphone-oriented gamblers

Each system added a whole bunch of new players to modern online casinos.

The Bottom Line

The history of gambling is surprisingly long, but that only goes to show how attractive this pastime was, is, and always will be. We obviously come a long way from ancient games of chance to modern online gaming platforms, and it looks like the casino business is only getting better. Do you prefer traditional table games or modern phone-based gambling? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Featured image: Freepik

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