From Rome To Vegas: how gambling came to the present day

Gambling today is one of the most profitable industries around, and this is also due to its long history of success.

Archaeologists, in fact, over the past few decades have found several prototypes of dice and playing cards within various sites scattered around the world. The Chinese, for example, had their own culture linked to card games associated with betting, while the Egyptians can boast the record of being the first people to invent and transform the dice. The findings of the latter, in fact, show dice with different symbols on them and there is evidence of their use as entertainment even within several hieroglyphic inscriptions.

Nowadays, casinos are buildings scattered all over the world, with their own audience and features. These casinos are nothing but the physical manifestation of the success of the gambling world.

How did casinos become what they are today?
Let’s try to figure it out by starting from the beginning, the Romans.

Roman amusements

During the 6th century BC the Romans began to construct buildings for the entertainment of the people. These buildings, called “circuses” or “amphitheaters” offered activities for the population ranging from theatrical performances to sports competitions.

Precisely, before there were crypto sports betting sites of today, sports competitions were the starting point for the world of betting. The Romans, in fact, resumed the Greek custom of betting money on the winners of the races to increase the fun. This was the beginning of gambling.

The Romans at that point began to vary their recreational offerings, adding to the sports competitions the fights between gladiators or the chariot races. Betting became more and more common as the years went by.

Things changed only with the arrival of Christianity, which saw gambling as inappropriate behavior. This led to a relative disappearance of betting from the public life of citizens. Those who wanted to bet had to do it in secret.

The return in pomp of the casinos is due to the Venetians who, in 1638, officially opened the first and real casino in the world: the casino called “Ridotto”. The term “casino” itself was formed from the Italian word meaning “a small house”.

The coming of America

The casino of Venice was the first to impose certain rules on its customers: visitors had to respect a certain dress code and had to follow a respectful behavior. Secondly, players had to order food to allow the activity to continue.

It wasn’t long before the church came out again with controversy regarding the nature and structure of the casino but, by then, it was too late. Already in Europe, in Germany and in Monaco, other places with similar rules were born.

Slowly, state agencies stole the censor business from the church and began demanding more regulations from casinos. This forced many businesses to close and others to reinvent themselves.

The real success of the casinos came with Las Vegas, a name that we can still find today in a myriad of games available online (click here to find out more)

The first American casino was actually a hotel built by a Jewish mobster as a cover for his illicit business. The hotel, built outside the Las Vegas area to avoid the town’s stringent gambling laws, was a success. This literally gave birth to the casinos on the strip, the historic street of Las Vegas that is still synonymous with entertainment and luxury.

The arrival of Hollywood has definitively transformed casinos into cultural objects. Already in 1960 a famous director made a film (Ocean’s Eleven) , with the star of the time Frank Sinatra among the protagonists, where you could see 5 different casinos, all victims of robberies. This was only the beginning of a story made of successes, failures and mutations, a story that arrives today with renewed energy.

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