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An Abridged History Of Gambling

Gambling has evolved a lot in recent years with the help of handheld technology. But the concept of gambling has mostly remained the same over the many centuries. Gambling was around before humans invented money – when instead of betting on modern currency, they would gamble on their personal belongings like food, land, or livestock. From ancient China and ancient Egypt to online casinos and mobile apps, we have proven that gambling can be a longstanding way of life. If you want to learn more about humanity’s history with gambling, read on! 

 Gambling’s Abridged History

  • From approximately 3000 to 2300 B.C., humans used the earliest form of six-sided dice in Mesopotamia.
  • In approximately 200 B.C., citizens played “white pigeon ticket” in Chinese gambling houses with the permission of the provincial governor (he would receive a percentage of the profits), and the winnings were often used to fund state works. 
  • During the 7th century or 600 B.C., the first minted currency was invented in Lydia. After the first currency was minted, gambling started to involve money. 
  • The first record of playing cards from 800 A.D. is made in China. Archaeologists found evidence of games of chance on certain tiles from this time period. However, the tiles or cards bear little resemblance to those used today. The cards’ designs had human forms, but as games spread throughout Europe, the Europeans created their own playing cards, which helped form the basis for the familiar playing cards used today.
  • Gambling remained the same until controlled gambling environments, also known as casinos, were invented in the 1600s in Italy. People would gamble in these environments rather than in the privacy of someone’s home, back alleys, or drinking establishments. 
  • Gambling houses became more common in the 1800s in Europe and appeared in the U.S. Some experts believe that Italy was the birthplace of the modern casino, and from there, it spread across the European continent and eventually found its way to the United States.
  • The first known slot machine was invented around 1850.
  • Gambling became legalized in certain American states in 1930, creating gambling hubs like Las Vegas, NV, and Atlantic City, NJ.
  • Online gambling becomes a multibillion-dollar industry at the end of 2000.

Gambling Today

After centuries of back-and-forth battles over the legality of gambling at the American state and federal levels, it finally was legalized in specific states, like Nevada, to spur economic growth during the Great Depression. After that, gambling spread, modernized and became legal in 48 states. And with the invention of the Internet in the 90s, gambling made its online debut and became a multi-billion-dollar industry. Speedy advances in technology after the 2000s have attracted a new generation of players and have made gambling more accessible to everyone.

 Evidence suggests that Internet users use their desktop computers less and generally utilize their handheld devices more. And so gambling and gaming can now be enjoyed by others online while on the move! Gambling sites like have recognized this shift in usage, and now there are many more opportunities for mobile online gambling. Fantasy sports games are popular examples of such online prediction games. Gambling has and continues to be an integral part of our history.


Author’s Bio:

Luther Abrams is an online game and sports enthusiast who spent his younger years playing and watching basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, and badminton games, among the many others. Today, as an early retiree, he continues to write about his love and passion for sports. On most days, he also loves to play ball with his two kids.

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