Hello and welcome to our site – Makeartnotcasinos.org – a hub of information about gambling, including where it all started, how it has evolved through the ages and an up-to-date look at the growth of modern-day casinos in the US.
Keeping reading to discover a brief summary of some of the key gambling milestones in human history, and then find our take on gambling and casinos in the USA.
Gambling and casinos – where did it all begin?
The act of gambling, i.e. placing something of value at stake with calculated odds of receiving something greater in value (and retaining the initial stake), is intrinsic to human nature. We also get excited by taking a risk and get a boost of endorphins when we win.
Hence, gambling can be traced back thousands of years, with early civilizations including the Egyptians, Romans and Anglo Saxons all developing rudimentary games of chance.
Below are some of the milestones in the history of gambling:
3,000 BC – crude kinds of ‘dice’ were made by the Ancient Egyptians
2,300 BC –Ancient Chinese ‘tiles’ dating back two-and-a-half millennia believed to be used in games of chance
500BC – the world’s first ever makeshift casinos start to appear, particularly in Rome and Greece, leading to restrictions banning all forms of gambling
800-900 AD – the first playing cards appear in China
17th Century – some of the very first casinos start to pop up in Italy, followed by the advent and evolution of the game of blackjack. However, these casinos were all unregulated and illegal.
1796 – with the creation of the famous 37-pocketed wheel, the game of roulette is born in France
1891 – the first slot machine – or ‘one-armed bandit’ as they were known then – was invented in America, and then gradually introduced as a low-stakes game in local bars.
1910 – present – the first dedicated and legal casinos started to appear in America, with the legalization of standalone casinos soon spreading to Europe throughout the 20th century.
1994 – the first online casino is launched, with the next 20 years seeing huge developments in the world of online gambling including live dealer casinos and mobile casinos.
In focus: a brief history of casino art and gambling in the USA
Wide-scale gambling in the US originated in the form of betting on horse racing, with the two southern states of Kentucky and Maryland leading the way by legalizing certain types of betting in the early 20th century.
This was followed by state-operated lotteries being introduced in the 1960s, and it was not until the 1980s until the majority of states stated to legalize other forms of gambling, such as ‘keno’ (a type of bingo game with high stakes) as well as basic poker and slot game machines found in bars and restaurants.
The emergence of casinos in America gradually took place in the latter part of the 20th century, but due to independent state laws, the growth of the casino industry has been heavily restricted.
It wasn’t until the 1990s that the country’s casino scene really started to take off. In 1993, revenue from casino gambling overtook profits from lotteries as cities such as Las Vegas, Atlanta and Reno began to flourish. This coincided with the emergence of some of the biggest casino and entertainment brands in the country, which have now spread all over the world, including MGM, Caesars Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands.
Today, with over 1,000 fully-operational casinos, the country has more than any other in the world. The industry generates tens-of-billions of dollars each year (for example, Las Vegas $6.3bn, Atlanta $2.4bn and Chicago region $2.2bn).
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