The fact that games of interest have existed since immemorial times is evidenced by written and ethereal historical sources: the Sanskrit scriptures, which are already 5 thousand years old, describe cases of property and even body parts gambling. Entertainment has transformed at every stage of civilization’s evolution: any discovery got its immediate application in gambling.
What do we know about gambling?
First of all, the term “gambling” should be defined. In general terms, it means risky actions for multiplying resources, the result of which depends not on knowledge or calculations, but on luck.
Gambling was an integral part of the Persian cities, that is, in the territory of modern Iran. It is repeatedly mentioned by Avicenna, a scientist, healer, and forefather of medicine, who lived at the turn of the first and second millenniums of our era, a thousand years ago, in his works.
Gambling is also mentioned in the Sunnah, a sacred work for Muslims that describes the life of the Prophet Muhammad. According to official information, the Islamic prophet lived in the middle of the first millennium AD, that is, a thousand and a half years ago.
But it turns out that this is not the oldest historical trace. In the Vedic scriptures, which date from 1700 to 1100 B.C. and are considered one of the oldest known written sources, games of interest are given much attention. In particular, in the Rigveda, one of the four Vedic texts, one can find the poem “Gambler’s Lament”. As historians believe, it was initially a plea to the higher powers for victory in the dice. It is described that the Aksa, gambling dice were made of walnut and had four sides. To win, it was enough to get in the result a number that could be divided by four without a remainder. The Vedic gurus do not see gambling as a sin if it is a way to relieve stress and have fun without addiction. Even wasting money on a game is seen as no more evil than wasting it on food or other entertainment. The only question is that the player should risk only the amount he is willing to lose without harming himself or his family.
Indigenous rights are still used by the Indians of North America to create legal gambling zones, and this is reasonable: ancient pottery, which dates back two and a half thousand years, quite eloquently displays episodes of games of interest with beanbags. Such games had a sacred meaning and not just satisfied the gambling: they determined the future and established a connection with the universe by falling out combinations of numbers.
The destruction and rebirth of the world through gambling were also discussed in Ancient Egypt five and a half thousand years ago. In Ancient Greece, the same games were considered a way of contact with the gods.
Thus, by going around the planet in any direction, in every heart of civilization, you can find something similar in principle and the form of the currently popular types of gambling. Probably researchers will argue for a long time about where on the planet Earth is the place that became the cradle of the game of interest.
World history of the casino.
Many people have the notion that the birth of casinos is associated with the criminal business of American Mafiosi, leading illegal activities in the XX century. Despite this, the history of gambling has quite a long existence.
Originally the word casino was translated from Italian as “house”.
Today, most people prefer not to leave home to play and choose online casinos such as best casino NZ.
The reliably unknown exact date of the origin of the casino. Some historians mention that the first information about gambling appeared in China two millennia before our era.
There is a claim that in Ancient Egypt there were organized games of dice. The dice fragments found in the tombs are very similar to those of today. It is also believed that the Romans contributed to the history of totalizators by organizing chariot races and gladiatorial fights in the open air.
The history of casino evolution did not pass over Europe either. The first official world casino was the gambling house “Ridotto”, opened with the support of the authorities in Venice. The date of its foundation is 1638. It was located in the church of Moses to control gambling, held during the annual spring carnival.
Access to gambling establishments was closed to the poor. In ancient times, the casino was considered a luxury only for the wealthy members of the aristocracy, who gathered in close circles to enjoy their favorite game. In 1765, the first French gambling house with official status was opened. Its foundation was approved by Cardinal Mazarin, whose purpose was to collect taxes from such activities into the royal treasury. At that time, the game of roulette emerged. Americans owed its appearance to French settlers.
In the mid-18th century, the procession of gambling through Europe continued. The elite allowed themselves to lose a fortune over a card game. Most of the gambling establishments’ visitors made especially big bets and went bankrupt. This led to the fact that at the end of the XIX century several European countries stopped the work of many casinos. The only Mecca for the rich and middle class was the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco.
Since the XIX century began the rapid development of gambling in America. In many states gambling houses were opened, where all fans of gambling gathered to try their luck. Later, these institutions evolved into saloons, where cowboys played card games. Black Jack, nowadays known as poker, was especially popular among the American population.
Gambling entertainment actively developed in the country until Andrew Jackson came to power, prohibiting gambling in any of its manifestations. During the following decades, there were repeated attempts to ban gambling development. The prohibition applied to all American states. The only exceptions were New Jersey and Nevada.
Despite this, discrimination against gambling did not stop Native American reservations and sailors, and some games were legalized almost all over America. Eventually, large gambling houses began to operate in Atlantic City and Las Vegas.
Digitalization of the world. How does it work with gambling?
Modern technology is rapidly developing and those things that only 30 years ago were equated with fiction are widely used in everyday life. These days, the “World Wide Web” has managed to envelop almost every home, to connect the majority of the inhabitants of the planet into a single network, but since its inception, only a quarter of a century has passed. With the help of the Internet, we chat, work, and have fun.
The first “swallows” – the first online casinos
In 1994, the British company Microgaming created the first platform for an online gambling establishment, on which it was already possible to build a full online casino. The exact date of the release of the first site where gambling entertainment for money is not known, but presumably in 1996 there were about 15 such projects around the world. In 1994 the Government of Antigua and Barbuda issued a law allowing the operator to obtain a gambling license from the country legally. With the advent of the first online bookmaker’s office (1997), the largest corporations quickly saw the huge potential of the online gambling market. That’s when the rapid growth and rise of online casinos began.
A year later, another know-how appeared in Internet gambling establishments – the progressive jackpot. Thanks to this innovation the popularity of gambling houses in the network began to grow even more: a certain percentage of the money lost was accumulated in a single prize fund, which subsequently could go to absolutely any player! Potential huge winnings excited the gamblers’ minds, creating a chic advertisement for gambling fans all over the world.
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In 1999 on the online gambling market, besides the major players such as Microgaming and Cryptologic, a dark horse appeared – a young and ambitious project Playtech. The newcomer managed to break into the gambling market at lightning speed, becoming one of the most popular corporations in this market segment. Because of the serious competition, the gambling sector began to develop at an even greater rate: new applications began to appear in the institutions, the maximum winnings constantly increased and the conditions for the game every day was only getting better. So in 2001, the record win was $415 thousand, and a year later someone managed to hit the jackpot of $1.5 million! Nowadays the amount of $10 million is far from being the limit.
Naturally, the new segment was not regulated by the legal framework (at that time it simply did not exist) and customers had to rely only on the honesty and integrity of the operators. But in 2002, an international non-profit organization eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) was founded with the support of Eights and Microgaming and took the responsibility of creating unified standards in the online gambling industry, certification of online casinos, and defending the player’s interests. The emergence of this company has served as a major impetus for many of the world’s manufacturing corporations that are concerned about high-quality software and comfortable working with their product. Another guarantor of the honesty of many online gambling establishments – is PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which is one of the four top-rated auditors on the planet.
The first problems
In 2003 the total turnover of all online casinos worldwide exceeded the mark of $8.5 billion, most of this amount was earned by players from the United States. For a long time, the states wanted to promote a bill to regulate online gambling, but in 2006, the current president George W. Bush has taken an even more radical decision – he banned online gambling at the legislative level. Then 3 years in a row Democrats have tried to lift the restriction with all their might, but they failed, and only today are we seeing some movement on this issue.
Yes, such restrictions were a serious blow to the large online operators, but they all quickly accepted the new rules of the game and did not stop growing. By the way, the size of the largest jackpot by the time also “grew” to $ 8 million, and wins of $ 4 – $ 6 million have become a pleasant everyday occurrence.
The mobile casino inception
It’s only been a decade since the advent of online casinos, as an opportunity to transfer all the developments on mobile devices appeared. The first gambling applications for the phone also worked without the internet, characterized by a weak resolution and minimal features. But such a fun novelty still won the love of the players.
The first mobile games with real bets date back to 2005. Further, they began to develop, attracting to the new entertainment tens of millions of users. Phones also did not stand still, the power of their hardware and screen quality was improving. That is why, years later, gambling toys have ceased to differ in quality from their desktop big brothers. However, the best mobile casinos for fun have been optimized for touch control.
In 2018, the number of registered mobile devices exceeded 7.5 billion. And only a fifth of them is not connected to the Internet. At least 20% of their owners are into gambling. Forecasts say that by 2023 there will be about 12 billion gadgets and the number of online casino fans will increase to 35%.
Now on the “world wide web” there are more than 15 thousand gambling establishments. The range of services offered is several times greater than the list of available games in land-based gambling houses. In addition, most online casinos now have a section of the game with live dealers, where you can play the most popular gambling games with real croupiers in real-time. The newest slot machines have many advantages over the old “one-armed bandits”, which, among other things, laid a chic percentage payment, sometimes reaching up to 98%.
In many countries, online gambling is still illegal, but in political circles, the debate about its legalization does not subside because of the desire not to miss the multimillion-dollar profits. Yes, online casinos have a dark side, and many people are “addicted” to gambling, and the availability of online services exacerbates the situation on this issue, but for the budget of the country, the legalization will only be positive.
Undoubtedly, the number of countries, which will lift the bans and restrictions on online gambling in all its manifestations, will increase year by year. Yes, the whole business is likely to be under clear state control and will be squeezed into certain legislative frameworks, but it will protect players and ordinary citizens, who can plunge into their favorite entertainment without risk.
If to summarize the entire millennial history of the development of individual games and the gambling industry as a whole, it is possible to distinguish several periods:
- The creation of the first casinos and betting shops;
- The introduction of electromechanical engineering inventions;
- interaction with telecommunications;
- The emergence of online platforms;
- Mobile gambling development;
It is also interesting that the nature of gambling is inseparable from human nature, which means that prohibitions will not be able to defeat it. Proof of this is the constantly renewed leading brands’ portfolios, game content development, and the creation of innovative products.