The History of Casino: From Ancient Times Till Our Days
Many of us associate the emergence of casinos with the American mafia, but the history of gambling games goes far beyond the 20th century. Mentions of dice and cards were found among many nations and cultures hundreds of years ago. Some historians believe that gambling appeared in China in approximately 2300 BC. Others claim that dice were found in the tombs of the ancient Egyptians. Still, some cite the example of the Roman Empire where gladiator fights and chariot races contributed to the emergence of sweepstakes. In this article, we will dive into the history of gambling, and study the facts associated with the emergence of the first casino.
The history of gambling goes back to antiquity. Although there are no mentions of gambling in the annals, there are legends, tales, and various versions. When excavating ancient sites, archaeologists found objects that could be used for games. There are suggestions that initially, these objects had a magical, sacred meaning, and over the centuries, they became a means of an exciting pastime. Egyptian tombs have preserved to this day the image of a man playing dice.
In ancient Tibet, gambling charts were drawn on the roofs of temples. The symbolic image of the game can also be found on the seats of monks in medieval English churches. The Greeks have a myth of Zeus and Aphrodite tossing dice to determine a heroʼs fate, and Homer’s Iliad describes the Olympian gods playing the lottery to determine the winner of a battle. Nowadays, all these activities are available to any adult. A list of recommended best gambling sites can be found by the link.
As civilization grew and large cities arose, gambling found its place in bustling bazaars and inns. Gamblers were offered a wide variety of fun to choose from. For the pleasure of trying fate, one often had to pay with gold and jewelry.
The first gambling houses (the word “casino” is translated from Italian as a house) appeared in the Roman Empire. Historians consider the birthday of the casino to be 557 BC when the Roman king Tarquinius Lucius Prisk organized the so-called Big Circus – the ancient Roman center of the entertainment industry. Here they made bets on the tote and played dice. The public spent the day and night at the Circus Maximus and the Colosseum.
In Europe, authorities gradually joined the process of spreading gambling, imposing taxes on the relevant establishments. For the first time, a public gambling house was legalized in 1626 in Venice. At that time, it was customary in the high Venetian society to meet in the so-called “small houses” or “Casini”. Noble and wealthy people entered into business deals there, argued about politics, and gambled.
The first casino in the modern sense opened in 1765 in Paris. The first minister of France, Cardinal Giulio Mazarin, ordered the opening of the casino to replenish the treasury of Louis XIV. Then the world learned that in addition to the usual card games, there is also roulette.
In 1806, a gambling house for the first time received official approval from a senior government official in France. This man was the French emperor Louis de Bonaparte who honoured one of the Parisian casinos with his presence.
The 19th century added new facts to the history of gaming establishments: high-quality service appeared, the interior became luxurious and comfortable, and security guards began to restrict access to the casino, allowing only respectable-looking citizens to enter. Gambling has become a fashionable hobby, and casinos have become a place where anyone who considers oneself a wealthy person can appear.
Casinos in the USA
Gambling, like many other things, was brought to America by settlers from the Old World. In numerous saloons of the Wild West, winning was decided with the help of a colt. Throughout the 1700s and 1800s, the city of New Orleans was the Mecca for New World players. However, during the presidency of Andrew Jackson (1829-1837), legal casinos almost completely disappeared in all states. As a result of the ban, an extensive illegal network of “gaming associations” sprang up across the country. After the lifting of this ban, Benjamin Siegel became the founder of modern Las Vegas, the casino city that has gained fame as the entertainment capital of the world.
Today, gambling houses are fashionable establishments where tables are made of mahogany, there are heavy curtains, croupiers in strict uniform, the aroma of expensive cigars and perfumes. Entering the casino world today is not so difficult, there are many casinos around the world welcoming tourists. If you wish to test your fortune, then we wish you good luck!