It’s not easy to imagine a world without a casino, especially now that there are countless platforms for anyone looking to play online casino games for money. Before an influx in the gaming stations, casinos were quite different from what you see today. Experts report that the history of gambling is inextricably linked to the history of humanity. No matter how far back in time we go, there are signs of people gathering in groups to gamble. While it may be impossible to track each twist and turn in the evolution of gambling, the article will offer some essential highlights on the milestones that led to the establishment of casinos.
Gambling has been a permanent pastime dating back to 2300 BC in China and 1500 BC in Egypt. The earliest forms of gambling included dice-like objects, but it’s unclear what types of games people played. The Chinese played a game known as “baige piao”, similar to a “white pigeon ticket” associated with tickets for homing pigeons. Greece was also known to play dice games with numbers like throwing a double six that could not be beaten.
The First Gambling Houses
The earliest gambling houses that could reasonably be compared to modern-day casinos started to appear in the early 17th century in Italy. For example, The Ridotto was established in 1638 in Venice to offer a controlled gambling environment. At the time, it was only set up at a carnival to create a gathering point for licensed gambling to happen so there would be no chaos in the streets. Before this, gaming was primarily done in gambling halls, dens, and pubs. Keep in mind that at the time, “casino” was not the official name for the gaming stations. The term casino was only used when more buildings dedicated to gambling were erected.
After the first casino was established, many more started springing up throughout Continental Europe during the 19th century. At the same time, informal gambling houses were also mushrooming in the United States. In American history, these were primarily known as saloons. San Francisco, St. Louis, New Orleans, and Chicago were the four major cities that greatly influenced the creation of the saloons where people would meet up, gamble and drink. It is said that steamboats ferrying prosperous traders and farmers up and down the Mississippi offered a venue for gambling. This inspired the construction of more casinos where legitimate gambling could take place.
The Introduction of Casino Games
Roulette was first introduced to the gaming world in the 1700s, originating in Paris. The game became more popular in the 19th century. Poker was one of the most complex card games to be established, and it grew organically over the centuries and decades. One of the significant clues to its existence was English actor Joseph Crowell reportedly playing it in 1829 in New Orleans.
Gambling in Vegas
Vegas is one of the most iconic gambling locations in the world. Gambling was born in 1905 in Nevada, Las Vegas. A group of workers building rail tracks to connect the state with the Pacific coastline wanted a sanctuary after a hard day’s work. They used to play cards as a light relief because gambling in the state was outlawed. However, the state decided to outlaw gambling in 1910. This did not stop people from engaging in gambling. Even in that prohibition era, it was almost impossible to hold gambling enthusiasts to the law. Enthusiasts set up tables everywhere, from restaurant kitchens to basements, for gamblers to get some relief from their day-to-day lives. The popularity of illicit casinos began to grow, forcing the state to legalize gambling to create a safe space for the activity. Golden Gate was the first legitimate casino in Vegas, followed by El Ranco Vegas. The two establishments completely transformed the gambling scene in the state. El Rancho was the first gambling resort with a range of premium gaming products like
- A roulette wheel
- Blackjack tables
- Slot machines
- Swimming pools
The Jump to Online Casinos
After establishing traditional brick-and-mortar casinos in different parts of the globe, the shift to online gambling happened around 1994. Today, gambling enthusiasts can access all the games they love through mobile phones. With all the technology being introduced nowadays, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for the casino business.
Start Your Journey
The journey of how the first casino came to be is pretty interesting. Above are essential highlights that led to the development of the first casino and how it has evolved through the years.