The History of Gambling
Gambling, a timeless phenomenon, has been with us throughout the ages and continues to influence the course of human history.
Gambling has existed since the dawn of humanity and has accompanied us throughout the ages, leaving its unmistakable mark on the pages of history.
In the year 1161 CE, there was a dispute between Norway and Sweden over the district of Hising. Diplomacy failed to solve the dispute and so the kings of each country (who were both named Olaf) met and decided to seal the fate of the province on the role of two dice. The king of Norway rolled two 6's and thus received ownership of the territory without any bloodshed.
But gambling wasn't always looked upon with friendliness. King Henry VIII of England decided to prohibit his soldiers from gambling because he learned that they were spending more time punting than practicing drills and marksmanship.
In colonial America, gambling and the possession of cards and dice was banned by many of the Puritan communities (such as the Massachusetts Bay Colony) although dancing and singing suffered the same fate, as they were thought to be jaded values from their old society.
Regardless of extremist beliefs, gambling has continued to exist in nearly every country on Earth, whether hidden or out in the open. Just as a roll of the dice decided the fate of Hising, the punt still influences foreign and domestic policy, steals the attention of the tabloids, and creates millionaires.
From Saloons to Online Casinos
Gradually, people belonging to the higher classes have sought after gambling activities for their pastimes. This demand for gambling has created what was called back in the day "saloons"; people went to these places for a dance, a meal or a drink, to socialize and gossip but also to play a game of dice or cards. The American saloons are the most recognized ones, having been made popular in Westerns.
While the continent of Europe was a major contributor in the development of gambling, with many gambling establishments in Germany and in Italy like the famous "Casino di Venezia" in Venice, it was the United States which gave birth to casinos as we know them today. With the decline of the old west in the early 20th century, casinos were outlawed by the state, and gambling became an illegal activity which also drew the attention of organized crime in its formative days.
1931 saw the turning point for gambling in America came, when gambling was legalized in the state of Nevada and Las Vegas. At the time, casinos were operating throughout Europe, but the city of Las Vegas gradually came to catch the imagination of gamblers worldwide, and to drive casinos from all over the globe to imitate the Vegas style.
The next big step for gambling came in the mid-1990s, with the advent of online casinos. These brought safe and comfortable gambling experiences to people from all over the world, straight from their homes.