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How Gambling and Casinos Started: A History

Gambling has been a part of American entertainment culture for many years. When we talk about casinos, the United States, especially Las Vegas, Nevada is known all around the world. According to statistics, there are over 1,000 active casinos in the United States, with 10 percent found in Nevada.

 

But did you know that gambling was not widely and legally accepted in the United States before? Most casinos run illegally, underground.

 

In this article, we will take a look back to how the first casinos and the culture of gambling in the United States started.

 

The Birth of Gambling

No one can actually tell the definite origin of casinos. The earliest recorded gambling objects were from the Ancient China. In 2300 B.C., Chinese played tiles which inspired the domino games later one. IN 15000 B.C., ancient Egyptians were also fond of dice games. As a matter of fact, historians unearthed a pair of dice from Egypt. On the other hand, ancient Greeks also practiced sports betting before. As avid fans of Olympics, spectators would bet on their favorite athletes.

 

Gambling in the Medieval Era

During the Middle Age, any form of gambling was banned and outlawed. However, it didn’t stop gambling to flourish. Most gamblers did it underground. During this period, moving carnivals were a thing. They move from town to town and county to county and encouraged individuals to engage in gambling, specifically sports betting.

 

The Rise of Gambling Houses

The first gambling House was established in Venice, Italy in 1638. However, it was not called a casino. Venice city leaders build a government-owned gambling house they called “The Ridotto” which means a “private room”. It was made to control gambling in the city. However, only the nobles could afford to play at the gambling tables. The most popular game in the Ridotto was the Basetta – a combination of poker, blackjack, and gin rummy. However, it was closed in 1774 as the government believed it worsened poverty in the land.

 

American Casinos

The earliest gambling houses in the United States were called “saloons”. This was an initiative by four major cities: San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, and St. Louis. Saloons were a place for people, especially travelers to drink, eat, talk, and gamble. However, in the early 20th century, gambling was strictly outlawed all throughout the United States.

 

During the global crisis, the United States was one of the greatly affected. This led to the Reagan and Bush administration to legalize gambling to help normalize the increased inflation, interest, and unemployment rate. In 1931, gambling was legalized in the state of Nevada. Casinos started to flourish all over the land. Nevada became “The Entertainment Capital of the World”. In 1976, New Jersey also followed to legalize gambling. It became the second largest gambling city in the United States.

 

Today, most American states legalized gambling. Apart from land-based casinos, there are hundreds of online casinos available for those who want to use their computers or smartphones. Since then, gambling has definitely become a part of the American gaming and entertainment culture.

 

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