It is impossible to imagine our life without ardor. Some people live only for this, they have life ardor and every day should be full of excitement. Computer games, loot boxes, surprises, new year gifts, card games like Magic the Gathering or Hearthstone, poker, or just a simple game of Uno, or bingo, are all based on ardor, and without it, they would not exist. It is about ardor if you want to play in an online slot casino after work. No need to spend much time on scientific research, even love for some people has the second name of ardor. There are many stories about teenagers at schools and universities who change girlfriends weekly on monthly just because they can and feel “on a hunt”.
Moreover, every country has tricksters and cheaters, making huge money from peoples’ passions. If you ever come to London and go to see Big Ben – never play the shell game on Westminster bridge. It may seem to you that it is an easy way to get a couple of hundred pounds, but this is what makes you a victim. As soon as you get this feeling and decide to play shells – you are doomed to leave with an empty wallet. First, you will win 10, 20, or even 50 pounds, your blood gets hot, stakes grow up, you have a chance to win 200, your blood boils, and you surrender to ardor. Obviously, you never leave with big money.
Many people think that TV lotteries are fair because they are shown on TV. Well, true, usually there is no felony. But even here, the organizers earn huge sums of money because people cannot stop when they are in. Buying a lottery ticket and getting nothing, you always think there is some reward in the next. When you get 5 dollars from it, you feel it is a sign you should continue, and so on. One out of a billion gets the jackpot, and everyone thinks they are next.
So, once people wondered how to legalize this human feeling, how to start making money on it officially. And they invented gambling! They started developing and popularizing it. But where it appeared, who was the first person to introduce this idea? Let’s find out in this article!
Unfortunately, it is impossible to find out who invented gambling, whose portrait must be on the walls of all the casinos worldwide. The reason is that it happened millions of years ago. Here is a short timeline for you to understand better how ancient gambling is.
- 2300 BC: the first known gambling artifact is made;
- 800 AD: cards are played in China;
- 1600: Italians build the first casino ever;
- 1800: Gambling spread over Europe and America; more gambling houses and casinos are opened worldwide;
- 1850: The first slot machine ever comes on the stage;
- 1930: Legalization boom in the US;
- 2000: Online gambling starts gaining popularity;
- 2010: Mobile online gambling conquers a new audience.
As you can see, gambling has never stopped in its development, getting to new peaks and opening more opportunities worldwide. Now let’s look at some of the essential periods and places of gambling development in more detail.
China: The Gambling Paradox
Gambling followed all Chinese dynasties throughout the years until now, when it is banned in the country. No jokes, there are no casinos, and all the online venues are blocked so that nobody can enjoy slots or a decent poker game. We have no idea what is the reason for such a decision, but if you would like to access your favorite online casino in China, you will definitely need a VPN. Anyway, let’s take a look at the history of gambling in this beautiful country and try to understand why it came to such a sad end.
It is believed that people started gambling in China at least 4000 years ago. Archeologists have found something similar to modern tiles and suggested they were used for some kind of ancient game of chance. Unfortunately, it is impossible to get any detailed evidence from that time, but it has been proven that the Chinese were big fans of lotteries, and keno slips were found at the Great Wall Construction sites.
It is easy to explain the love of ordinary people to the lotteries. While aristocrats and money bags could play whatever they wanted, wagering money, lands, cattle, and even people, peasants needed hope for a better life. And lotteries with the chance of a big win gave them this hope. Everyone wanted to get some money to improve their level of life. Thus, people kept taking part in the lotteries.
Interestingly, cards were also invented in China. Scientists suggest that it happened around the IX-X centuries, in the times of the Southern Song Dynasty. However, the first written evidence is dated to the Yuan dynasty, when two men were arrested for playing and printing cards.
Chinese dominoes first appeared in the XV century and initially were not a tile but a card game. There were a lot of cards with different patterns on them, divided into two groups: “military” and “civil”, and there were many types of interactions between them, a lot of different rules, nuances, and so on. We do not want to explain how to play this game here because we do not entirely understand how to do this ourselves.
Let’s now get to money-suited cards, considered the ancestors of modern playing cards. Instead of 4 suits, there were 4 currencies: coins, strings, myriads, and tens of myriads, 38 cards total. This deck went through numerous changes and came to us as an ordinary card deck used in every casino. Oh, by the way, getting back to the casinos, did the Chinese have them?
Basically, Shanghai used to be the leading casino hub in Mainland China until the early 1900s. People played all the possible games there, including roulette, poker, etc. Both locals and foreigners were spending everything they had in Shanghai casinos until they got banned by the Communist party in 1949. Nowadays, those Chinese who want to play with Lady Luck have to board special Gambling Ships and head to the international waters, Macau or Hong Kong.
England: Will of God
For hundreds of years in Europe in general and in England mainly, gambling was considered a way to communicate with God. People did not believe in luck. If they won, it was God’s will. If they lost, it meant that God did not support them for some reason, which was probably a committed sin. It gave the Church and authorities more levers to control ordinary people and, as a result, strengthen their influence. If someone lost a game of dice or cards, they might come to their local chief or duke (later) and ask what they could do to get tod’s favor back. Guess what the power players did? Well, I am sure you know.
Anyway, for a long time, gambling in England was just a fun and chill activity: the rich played cards in their manors, the poor played dice in the taverns, and everyone was happy. It continued until Richard the Lionheart legalized gambling in the XII century. Interestingly, he issued laws on who could bet (only the nobles) and how much they could bet (20 shillings per day). Other kings tried to take control of the gambling industry even more: Richard II tried to ban gambling for real money, and Henry VIII wanted to make people play cards or dice only on holidays. Interestingly, it did not concern the king’s court, where people could play 24/7/365.
In the XVI century, the first betting event took place in England – the horse race, and it keeps its popularity up to nowadays. The XVII century was when official gaming houses (read, casinos) started gaining popularity in England. Such houses became “gentlemen” clubs very fast, where politicians and the rich spent leisure reading newspapers, discussing the latest news, and betting.
Darkness thickened upon the gambling industry in the XIX century, when authorities decided to ban gambling instead of taking it under control and getting huge profits from it. This was the time when illegal betting came to the stage in England, and the well-known serial “Peaky Blinders” highlights this era very well. All forms of legal betting were banned, except for horse riding, that is why the Shelby Brothers wanted to get the official license of horse-riding bookmakers so much – it was the only way to legalize one’s betting activity.
Things started changing in the XX century: the authorities finally realized they should unite with the one they could not destroy. In the 1960s, casinos were finally legalized and became, basically, what they are now. By the beginning of the XXI century, such cooperation leads to enormous growth in the entertainment sector, particularly in the gambling industry.
Gambling in the Middle East
Assyrian Empire (modern territory of Iraq) is the cradle of Middle Eastern Gambling culture. A hot and severe land of noble warriors, it was the place where brute force, in cooperation with wit mind, led the ball. Assyrians were a militant civilization, and no war lasted forever. So, fearless warriors had to direct their energy in a different direction, and they started organizing fighting competitions with each other. Ordinary people looked at this for some time and then decided that it was unfair that only soldiers had fun. They decided to place bets on the winner of the fight, adding more spice to it.
Egyptians went even further, assigning the invention of gambling to Thoth – the god of wisdom, scientists, and libraries. There is an ancient legend that it was the dice game that helped him to create the calendar all of us use nowadays. Archeologists also find pieces of evidence that ancient Egyptians played roulette almost the same way people play now! They were tossing a ball on a stone disk and bet on the spot where it stopped.
Persian Empire is considered to be poker’s homeland. Greek historians mention a Persian ruler who was so arduous that he bet his people’s lives on card and dice games. Anyway, gambling almost disappears from everywhere with Islam coming to these lands. Paired with Alcohol, it was considered a great sin, and step by step, it moved to the North – to Europe. Even nowadays gambling industry is mainly developed in touristic regions and big cities to attract tourists.
A human is a gambler, and a gambler is a human; our history supports this statement. There were a lot of tries to ban gambling, to get rid of it, and all of them were unsuccessful. Finally, the best decision has been made: to take it under control and cooperate with it. Gambling got banned in China? Not a big deal. Casino-liners were created, where all respected Chinese could try their luck in poker, baccarat, roulette, and slots. Gambling got banned in the Arab world? Well, not really. It is still available for tourists; there are casinos in Dubai, Lebanon, and Cairo. Of course, if a local go there – their peers might take a dim view of them. But who cares if, in the end, you win $1 000 000? It is literally impossible to go against our nature.
Online casinos made it even more accessible for people. Thirty years ago, going to the casino was a huge event, people were preparing, getting dressed in their best clothes, bought expensive cigars, and wanted to show off, probably, even more than winning some money. Nowadays, an average factory worker can come home after a long day, sit in their favorite armchair and enjoy poker or slots on their mobile phone. If this is not progress, then what? It is interesting, what will be the next step? Casinos in Space? Or VR casinos for total immersion? Who knows …?