The History of Casinos

Since the dawn of time, people liked to compete against one another in various fields. Usually, these competitions involved different physical skills or intellectual abilities, but every now and then, they liked to test their fortune, as well. In the early days of civilization, they believed that this showed how much certain deities favored them, which made it into an almost religious-like game. While minor bets and guesses were practiced at nearly every occasion, ancient people soon realized that this simply isn’t enough. This is why they devised more complex games which would show just how much fortune they had. Once they started grouping at the designated spots to gamble, this was the birth of the institutions we now know as casinos, and the world was changed forever.

1.    Ancient Times

The first recorded casinos in the human history predate to around 2.300 BC in ancient China. From various sources, we learn about game known only as “the drawing of the wood,” which was probably their own version of the lottery. The rules of this game are obscure today, but in the era around the construction of the Great Wall of China different kinds of lottery became widespread across the empire.

On another continent, a poet and a playwright Sophocles claimed that the game of dice originated from as early as the Trojan War. More credible sources today claim that they were probably brought to Crete by Egyptian or Phoenician traders and sailors.

A few centuries later in Ancient Rome, dice was still popular, only this time it was played for chips (like today) instead of money. Since gamble was illegal at the times, those caught could claim that these chips have no real value and that they played dice only for fun.

2.    Middle Ages

In the history books, you learn that the Middle Ages brought the Dark Ages, plague and religious wars. What they don’t teach you in school is that this was also the time at which card games were invented. As in the previous section, China was the first one to come up with the game somewhere in the early 9th century, but Europeans helped it evolve in what it is today. During the Renaissance, the game of blackjack was invented and soon after, casinos started spreading throughout the Mediterranean.

3.    New Age and 20th Century

When speaking about the end of the 18th century in Paris, most people will think about the revolution. However, in the history of casinos this chapter is known as the time when roulette was first invented. Throughout the following century, this game undergone a massive boost in popularity. Still, the next century also gave birth to poker and the first gambling machines. Needless to say, the beginning of the 20th century marked the foundation of Las Vegas and the casinos as we know today.

4.    Contemporary Era

At last, we reach the contemporary era and the 21st century. Today, however, one can bet on anything, anywhere. Nonetheless, the greatest and the most innovative trait of the present day gambling are the casinos in the digital world. In order to gamble in 2016, you don’t even have to leave your chair. All you have to do is google best UK online casino and you get a list of the safest and the most convenient online gaming clubs. No need for real cards and, definitely, no need for chips.


As you can see, casinos have travelled a long way to arrive at where they are now, but it would be foolish to assume that their evolution ends here. Today, we live in a digital world, a world of augmented and virtual reality and who knows what a wonderful symbiosis this will make with the realm of gambling. We can only wait and see.

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