The origin of gambling is unknown but it was first believed to have started in China in 2300 BC. Since those times historians have recorded the emergence of gambling across the globe (see our casino history timeline page). There are several tales associated with gambling from various cultures like the Ancient Greeks and Romans to Napoleon's France and Elizabethan England. It is believed that every child in the Roman Empire was taught to gamble and throw dice. The credit of the invention of the card games goes to the French which came around the year 1387 and the first full deck of cards was printed in the year 1440 in Germany by Johann Gutenberg.
History has this example to support that gambling was around in 1020 AD when the King Olaf of Norway and King Olaf of Sweden decided upon the ownership of an isolated area of Hising by making use of a pair of dice. In this peaceful means of decision King Olaf of Norway won the ownership of the area. Scandinavians are a very peaceful bunch!
The origins of gambling in France date back to Emperor Napoleon’s interest in the card game called vingt-et-un which is now known as Blackjack or Twenty-one. And though the French take great pride in their game of Roulette, research has shown that the French people may have adopted the game from the Egyptians. Roulette history goes back along way.
The English are not far behind on their journey into gambling. History shows that the English developed Hazard, which was a predecessor to the dice game of craps and the modern poker games which evolved from a combination of games influenced by the Persians and the Italians.
This poker game further developed with the introduction of betting by the French and the development of the concept of bluffing by the British. These elements have become the source of excitement that attracts players to the game of poker. The present casinos gambling games are the incarnations of the olden day games. The casinos which emerged accommodated certain types of gambling activities and it was played in a particular venue. The casinos were most commonly found or built near places where there were public activities. Some casinos were hosted in places where there were entertaining events like music concerts, stand-up comedy, concerts and sporting events.
One of the casinos which were established in the year 1683, named as Casino di Venezia, is still functioning and the pride goes to the city of Venice, Italy. America has been a country where casinos have grown and thrived for centuries. The casinos were known as saloons. These saloons were influenced by the major cities of America which includes New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago and San Francisco and these cities are still considered as the favorite casino spots. These saloons were the place where travelers could land up for some relaxation, entertainment, drinks, good company and of course great gambling.
It was in the early 20th century that America banned gambling. Gambling and casinos were outlawed by the State Legislation and social reformers of the time which became one of the greatest disappointments for the professional gamblers.
In the year 1931, gambling was legalized in particular states in the United States which included the state of Nevada, and Las Vegas, which became the first city in the history of America where gambling was legalized. Read more about the Las Vegas casino history on this site. In 1978, gambling was allowed in Atlantic City in the state of New Jersey which is now the second largest gambling city in the whole of United States. Apart from these famous gambling avenues there are other places legalized to promote gambling which include Mississippi, Tunica Resorts, Gulf Coast region and in an around Biloxi.
In the mid 1990’s the online casino history had started. The internet allowed the casino industry to expand and become more global giving players the advantage of playing from home instead of having to go to a land based casino. The future of gambling goes hand in hand with technology and it can only grow.