Whether you have a flutter on the horse racing, you bet on the latest football game, you play bingo online, or you head to the nearest casino for a spot of leisurely gameplay, there is no denying that gambling is big business. Can you remember a time when you didn’t see adverts for gaming or bets on the TV? Can you remember when we didn’t have the Internet to fuel our passions and obsessions?
Whilst we are right to be cautious in many respects, i.e. play in moderation, there is certainly a place in modern society for gambling in whatever guise.
Probably the most intrinsically linked establishment is the casino. We see them on huge blockbuster movies, we see them on TV, and we see adverts for them on the Internet; you only have to picture Las Vegas in your mind and probably the first image that will come to your brain is of a casino!
But, where did these gambling houses crop up from? And when did they begin?
Nobody really knows the exact time that gambling and casino visiting really began, because there are signs of gambling in some guise in every single period of history, right back to the Ancient Greeks and Romans, however the first bricks and mortar casino can be traced back to Venice, Italy, in 1638, however this was soon closed because of the adverse reaction that gambling was having on the community. After this however, smaller establishments began to crop up all over Europe, and this then passed over the Atlantic to America, with New Orleans and San Francisco being some of the first to jump on the casino bandwagon.
It wasn’t until 1931 that gambling was actually legalised in Nevada, which gave the greenlight to what we now know as Las Vegas – probably the world’s biggest gambling city, with Atlantic City coming up second in the USA charts.
Of course, casinos in general tend to be based in large touristic places, because casino visiting is a leisure business, somewhere which visitors go to enjoy and let go, with the hope of winning a little extra cash. Many casinos now have live music, shows, and entertainment, to keep their visitors happy and to keep them in the building for longer, with games such as craps, roulette, blackjack, and baccarat being popular. It’s not unusual in Las Vegas to leave the casino in the early hours of the morning, go to bed, and then go back for breakfast the next morning to find people from the night before still sat at the same slot machine!
As with anything in life however, gambling has progressed, and over the last few years this has moved onto the Internet. You can now enjoy playing games in online casinos, without actually having to leave your home, and this is a great for those who don’t live near to an actual bricks and mortar casino themselves. There have been significant warnings attached to this type of gameplay, mainly in the form of addiction, but as we mentioned before, moderation is everything. Online gambling is huge, and this includes bingo, and playing games on your mobile phone, whilst waiting for the bus.
Put simply, gambling has certainly evolved through the ages, but the end aim is the same – win big, and lose less!