The history of mankind is intrinsically related to gambling, as it appears that no matter how far back in time you go, there are indications that gambling was undoubtedly taking place wherever groups of people gathered. We’ve been fascinated with gambling throughout history, whether it’s selecting a winner in a gladiator fight or betting on who will have the highest number after rolling dice.
Throughout thousands of years, the evolution of the casino industry has influenced the casino industry we see today, including games like blackjack and roulette that we play in modern casinos and online casinos. If you want to play Play casino games, online casinos are now the most convenient method to play casinos in the comfort of your home.
In this article, we will discuss the actual history of the casino to get a clearer understanding of how much it has grown and where some of our favorite games are created initially.
The birth of the casino
Gambling was first recorded in ancient times. Archaeologists have discovered prototype dice dating back thousands of years before Christ. It’s thought that these artifacts were first used for fortune-telling and magical ceremonies and only later became associated with gambling.
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Although gambling has long been a popular activity, there has never been a legal establishment where it could be done. There were gambling dens and rooms where average gamers could gather and play. Still, authorities did not issue an official gaming location until 1638. The city authority of Venice first opened the Casino di Venezia during the carnival season to enable organized and trouble-free gaming. The casino is still located next to one of the city’s picturesque canals.
The term “casino” was not adopted until the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The rise of casino buildings started almost immediately – particularly in mainland Europe. In Germany, cities such as Baden-Baden and Wiesbaden and the famed Monte Carlo began to construct lavish casinos appropriate for the upper crust of society. These facilities appeared more like castles than places to play cards!
Casinos were non-existent until the emergence of Las Vegas (which we’ll discuss next). The only places to gamble were old saloon bars. And it’s reasonable to assume that they weren’t precisely inviting the inexperienced gamblers among us.
The First professional Casino ever
The first legal gambling operation in Europe started in Venice in 1638, and the history of the actual casino started there. Il Ridotto was the name of the first casino. The term “casino” comes from an Italian word that means “little house.”
Gambling was conducted in people’s residences before establishing the first legal casino, which explains the origin of the word. The crowd was often entertained with dance and music in addition to gambling. Meals and beverages were also provided. The Il Ridotto casino is said to have been built to engage privileged people during the famous occasion of Venetian carnival.
There were always specific regulations to follow:
- Casino guests were advised how to dress.
- There were particular behaviors to follow.
- Players were also guided to choose some specific foods from the menu.
The state government at the time of casino opening get benefited from the establishment of Il Ridotto since it had to pay substantial taxes on its operations.
However, the government made gambling illegal because of the church’s opposition to this kind of entertainment. The first legitimate casino in the world, Il Ridotto, was forced to shut down due to all these restrictions and strict laws.
The casinos, on the other hand, were always unconquerable. Despite several church sermons condemning “the wicked nature of gambling” and government prohibitions, casinos started to expand quickly outside Italy.
In 1765, the gambling craze and opening of casinos spread to Italy’s neighbor, France. Paris was the first to open a casino in France. This was made feasible owing to Cardinal Mazarin, who sought to refill the state treasury with gambling-related taxes. This casino had a previously unseen uniqueness: the roulette game, which immediately became popular with many players.
The first casinos were established in various European nations in the 18th century. The reward amounts were relatively high thanks to a reasonably large number of participants who enjoyed such entertainment. The opportunity to make some nice money drew the gamers together.
Getting closer to the present-day casino scene
In the 19th century, European casinos were at their peak. The interiors became more luxurious, and the service reached new heights of luxury. Every self-respecting individual was expected to present at a casino, becoming a center of mass debate.
Despite the widespread excitement for casinos among rich citizens, most European casinos had been forced to shut down by the end of the nineteenth century due to all the new changes in gambling regulations. Monte Carlo, which had no gambling limits, was the only casino that managed to remain open.
In addition, the small principality of Monaco started to gain popularity around the end of the nineteenth century. After some time had passed, the casino world enabled the establishment of Las Vegas, the world’s acknowledged gambling capital.
The start of modern casinos
It would be unfair not to include Las Vegas when discussing the history of casinos, wouldn’t it? Every year, millions of people travel to this desert city to participate in the city’s many attractions and try their luck at the blackjack tables and roulette wheels.
So, how did Nevada’s sandy plains become the worldwide casino scene’s brightest spot?
It all started in the year 1905. A company of railway workers was building tracks to link Vegas to the Pacific coast and other significant cities in the area, such as Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. The workers wanted a break from their day-to-day labor on the construction sites. Until you could say, “fancy a game of cards?” the city had quickly devolved into madness. Gambling, drinking, and prostitution quickly became Vegas’ vices. Still, it didn’t take too long for the state to impose restrictions on these vices.
From 1910 until 1931, the state of Nevada forbade gambling, but in an age of speakeasies and restriction set-ups, these enthusiastic gamblers would be unstoppable. Tables were put up in various locations, from basements to restaurant kitchens, so that gamblers could earn some sweet escape from their daily lives.
The popularity of these illegal casinos increased. By the time the state decided to legalize gambling again, Vegas had developed a dark underbelly of organized casino gaming and, worse, criminality.
Even though the Golden Gate was the city’s first legal casino, it wasn’t until 1941 that the city’s first all-singing, all-dancing resort, El Rancho Vegas, was opened. The facility had swimming pools, horseback riding, and, of course, casino games unlike anything else ever seen before. The original casino on the Vegas Strip contained two blackjack tables, a craps table, one roulette wheel, and roughly 70 slot machines, and it was the spark for the gambling explosion in Sin City.
Paradise of the mobster’s
After World War II, Vegas started to genuinely bloom, attracting the interest of America’s most ruthless criminals — the Mafia. It’s said that Al Capone considered establishing his casino facility in the city, but his plans never materialized. Until famed gangster Bugsy Siegel wanted a piece of the action, Vegas was a Mafia-free zone.
So, in 1946, he created the Flamingo, a resort modeled after Hollywood’s glamor and glitter. Meyer Lansky, a renowned East Coast criminal, supported Siegel with cocaine money, building a hotel and casino even more luxurious than El Rancho.
However, in the classic Mafioso style, someone has to pay the price when things go wrong. The mafia superiors pressed Siegel to open the Flamingo early. To do so, he cut many corners during construction. He took a lot of money from the Mafia-controlled Unions back pocket. When the casino resort was experiencing problems, it wasn’t simply the dice spinning but Siegel’s head as well. The Mafia controlled the city and did what they believed was in the business’s best interests.
Siegel’s Vegas legacy carried on after his killing in 1947. Mobster money aided in the development of Vegas as the world’s casino capital, with the Sands, the New Frontier, and the Sahara all opening shortly after he left. By the 1950s, the Chicago Outfit had taken over the city and, together with the New York City Mafia families, controlled the whole town — it was a gangster’s paradise. Families from all across the United States made arrangements to own shares in one another’s casinos, making it difficult to determine who truly owned what. In any case, all of the gangs got a piece of the action, and it was a big one.
The mobs successfully brought prominent names into the casinos, such as Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. By 1954, eight million visitors were flocking to Las Vegas to play blackjack and poker each year.
Contributors to commercialism
The mobsters’ hold on the city started to break soon after, and mega-casinos emergence began. Howard Hughes, the jack-of-all-trades, stayed in the Desert Inn in 1966 and took an unusual method to check out. Rather than handing over his keys, he opted to buy the hotel. Hughes didn’t stop there; he spent $300 million to buy out some of the strip’s biggest brands, reinventing them and taking them to the next level. The city had been taken over by corporate commercialism, which had replaced the frightening mobsters.
Since Hughes’ bold ambitions, the small casino has gone through a meteoric rise. The first “mega-resort,” the Steve Wynn-owned Mirage Hotel and Casino, opened in 1989. The old casinos are no longer standing. Their replacements are architectural marvels inspired by Venice’s canals and the heart of ancient Rome, luring more than 40 million players each year to try their hand at blackjack and spin the roulette wheel.
How did casino games originate?
So now that we know more about where the casino’s concept comes from, what about the popular things we enjoy there?
Blackjack’s roots are a bit of a mystery, with a few different theories floating around regarding where it originated from. Some say it originated in the 1700s in French casinos, where Vingt-et-un was played – a direct translation for 21. However, other casino historians believe the game originated in Spain. Gamblers in Spain played One and Thirty, a three-card variant of blackjack. The goal was to score as nearly 31 as possible; some believe this was the inspiration for the French game Vingt-et-Un.
It doesn’t end there, however. The Romans were renowned for betting on anything from gladiator fights to a simple game of numbers blocks. In this fundamental blackjack variant, players are given wooden blocks with numbers. They must bet on which combination has the highest value. There is still no specific clue where the game originated, so it’s probably better to appreciate it for what it is now rather than what it was initially. Who’d have guessed such a simple game could have such a long history?
A spin of luck
It’s worth noting that the initial concept for what would become the roulette wheel was an unsuccessful effort at a perpetual motion machine, not for entertainment or games. Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician and scientist, planned to create a device that would spin forever without any energy input – essentially, something that defies physics and is almost impossible. Pascal’s brilliant concept in 1665 fell well short of reality, but it did pave the way for the roulette wheel, a casino mainstay.
Even though the fundamentals had been mastered, the zero did not appear on the wheel until 1842. The new number was inserted on the instructions of Monaco’s great King Charles III. Francois and Lois Blanc designed it. Instead of agreeing to send out to the gamblers, his clever approach boosted the house’s odds of winning. He devised the strategy to raise money quickly while his kingdom was experiencing financial difficulties. However, by the time the zero wheels appeared in France, the country’s rulers had rendered gambling illegal, attracting crowds to Charles III’s casinos and restoring his fortune.
It’s reasonable to say that casino gambling has come a long way from its humble origins to the mega-bucks of Las Vegas.
Gambling is a game that is an old and gold practice. Casinos have existed since ancient times and are still operational now. Playing casino games online is now the most convenient method to do it.
If you want to play an online casino, Goa 247 is one of the best online casinos available in the market. However, playing responsibly and recognizing the indications of addiction are the foundations of responsibility when it comes to casinos. After all, the size of the underground casinos demonstrates that people like gambling.
While the state economy is damaged by the taxes that come with it, it would be best for everyone to play safely and in regulated casinos. One might refer to this as a win-win scenario, but only time will tell.