The History of Gambling

History of Gambling

Casinos started out as purely a facility which provides the opportunity to take part in specific gambling activities. However, with the progression of casinos throughout the last thirty years, they've become more than that.

Contemporary casinos are more commonly built with additional attractions for the public, e.g. hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, concerts and sporting events. Casinos are undoubtedly a huge attraction for gamblers and people outside of that bracket, but when did the idea of them come to fruition?

The Birth of Casinos

Early Casino

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The first ever European gambling facility was established in 1638 in Venice, Italy. Despite the closure of the large public gaming house, it's known as the world's first government-sanctioned gambling house and the first that was available for the general public to access. That is quite a significant title to hold in such a competitive and popular market of the gambling business. The idea of the casino started to catch on to other parts of the world, but it did take some time.

In early American history, gambling establishments were known as saloons. The saloon was a popular attraction for travelers stopping off at specific cities to gamble, drink and meet new people. The saloons made a bigger impact in some cities more than others, especially in New Orleans, St Louis, San Francisco and Chicago.

The US and Gambling

Gambling an American Tradition

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1931 was a breakthrough year for gambling in America as it was legalized in the state of Nevada. Nevada is typically famous for the vibrant and breathtaking site that is Las Vegas, which has become the biggest attraction for gamblers all over the world.

With a huge range of different casinos to choose from, it's a gamblers paradise. In 1978, gambling was granted in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This is currently the second largest gambling city in the whole of United States, predictably trailing Las Vegas.

However, there are legal implications in specific states of America that prevent the general public to gamble at casinos despite the progression of the gambling business. There are only 20 states that allow commercial casinos to run which proves that gambling is still an unknown entity in some areas of America, despite the huge progression on a global scale.

The Online Boom

Online Boom

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Like every other form of entertainment and marketing, there is always someone who is seeking that new phenomenon that will appeal to the public. This was demonstrated perfectly with the introduction of online casinos in the mid-1990s.

The first online casinos were introduced in 1994 after safe transactions became viable, which is a huge selling point for customers, knowing that the idea of online gambling is safe and secure. If there was any doubt that online gambling sites wouldn't appeal to the public that was quickly washed away with a rapid increase of how many websites became available.

In 1996 only 15 websites were available for online gambling but that rose to 200 websites by 1997. Multiplayer online gambling was also introduced in 1999, which was mainly online poker. This was an opportunity for online sites to implement the human interaction that was missing from the transition of live casinos to online. People could now chat and interact with each other whilst playing their favorite games.

In 1996 only 15 websites were available for online gambling but that rose to 200 websites by 1997. Multiplayer online gambling was also introduced in 1999, which was mainly online poker. This was an opportunity for online sites to implement the human interaction that was missing from the transition of live casinos to online. People could now chat and interact with each other whilst playing their favorite games.

Online gambling is still growing to this day but so are the number of laws that are trying to subside it. It's hard to believe that there won't be a new invention or idea that will enhance gambling in the future, but there will always be people trying to prevent it. With huge sums of money being processed on a daily basis, questions are always going to be asked.

Further Reading

Here are some useful websites and links if you're interested in learning more about gambling history.