Casinos are a huge source of entertainment today, but where did it all begin? Although, the precise origin of gambling is not known, there are discoveries that tell us some history.
Let’s travel back in time to the earliest account we have of gambling, which were Chinese tiles that were used for play. Gambling, in any form, has been present in almost every society since; even the first pair of dice date back to 1500 B.C. and were found in an ancient Egyptian tomb!
Ancient Romans loved to gamble. At one point, the Roman lawmakers announced that all children were to be taught to throw dice. Claudius, one of the Roman Emperors, deigned his carriage to allow for “casting lots”. Later on, 500 B.C., dice games and any type of gambling became forbidden within Ancient Rome. Because of this, the Roman citizens invented the first gambling chips so if they were caught gambling, they could say they weren’t playing for real money.
The French are credited with inventing playing cards in 1387, but gambling with cards can be traced back to 800 AD in China. Baccarat began in the 1400s and was a hit in Italy and France, and then the famous Blackjack was invented in the 1600s.
Although these games of chance had been popular among the people, there were only dens and halls for them. There wasn’t a designated building for gambling. THEN in 1638, Casino Di Venezia was opened in Venice during Canival season to allow organized and monitored playing during the event. (The Casino still stands beside one of the city’s canals). Then the boom of gambling buildings began, especially within European cities. They built glorious casinos that resembled palaces, fit for the elite class of gamblers at the time. In 1796 Roulette was invented in a gaming house in Paris.
It wasn’t until the late 18th and 19th centuries that the name “Casino” was coined.
With travelers going west, the establishment of Saloons, which acted as gambling houses, grew as well as other gambling venues such as river boats and train cars. Meanwhile in Europe, Prince Charles III established Monte Carlo in 1863. This destination was a trend setter. After roulette was played here, it spread throughout all of Europe. It also trend set the combination of gambling and beach vacations.
Now poker is hard to pinpoint exactly when it began, but we do know it was recognized in 1829 in New Orleans. The first gambling machine that resembled the slots was created in 1891. Early renditions of a slot machine spit out cigars and gum, until they were adapted into casinos.
In 1910 the American Government banned casinos due to fraud, so casinos went into hiding or moved to offshore ares, especially on the Mississippi River. In 1931 Nevada legalized gambling and the nations first casino emerged. This encouraged legal casinos in young cities like Las Vegas and Reno. Legalization began expanding heavily into tribal boundaries. In 1988 the government enacted the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act which brought a significant increase in revenue to Native gaming institutions.
Casinos entered the internet in the 1990s and quickly grew popular in the years after. With advancing technology, casinos have gone mobile as well. Today, the casino experience includes more then just the thrill and chance of gaming. It includes attractions, hospitality, and entertainment! More and more technology is being invented to enhance the casino experience and entertain it’s players! The future is looking bright!