Gamble

A Brief History of Casinos

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Written by Quentin Hack

The casino is synonymous with opulent entertainment, hung on a wing and a prayer. The glitz, glamour, suspense, and audacious behavior are on full display, and it sweeps you like a whirlwind off your feet. Glorified through the American dream, and the caricature of Las Vegas, it typifies a segment of United States culture. Alas, tracing its roots through its etymology, the root casa means house, we can surmise for it to have Italian heritage. The history of casinos is vast, but there are a few vital milestones in its trajectory.

Gambling is one of the most popular parts of the entertainment industry, and we can notice how it is changing along with the technological improvements and habits of players. The best example is the difference in popularity of land casinos and websites today. For a long time, the main synonym for gambling was related to big resorts like the ones that we can find in Monte Carlo or Las Vegas. However, the revolution of digital technologies affected the online platforms to become more popular in recent years.

Casino Games

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The evolution of casino games is a riveting tale, with the oldest game manifested before a casino was even a thought. Craps is said to have started way back in 1125, by Sir William of Tyre. The games swept over Europe with variants depending on geographical location.

Popular games of today like blackjack (the 1600s), poker (1892), and bingo (1530) have come a great deal after.

Today, many of these games have transitioned to the online platform without effort, which can be seen when you play bingo online with Betfair. As space is not a concern, the amount of variety on offer is somewhat limitless. Still, what is worthy of notation is the fact that these games may have various roots through history, and primitive versions may have existed much further into the past.

The most popular options today are Poker, Roulette, and Slots, and you can play them in both land-based casinos and online platforms. Still, there is a big difference in terms of experience, especially when it comes to table games. Most professional players would rather choose to play at a live table, while there is not big difference when it comes to slots, and websites might be an even better solution because of the convenience and the ability to play different games all the time.

Gambling Houses

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It would prove a frivolous task in pinpointing the exact moment when humans started to lay wagers, but it has been prevalent throughout human civilizations. The Ancient Greeks, Romans, and even the aristocracy of France and England laid their hand to games of chance. The first known gambling house came in Venice in 1638 and was called the Ridotto.

In America, the first gambling houses were saloons, which were a meeting place of travelers across the country. It was later outlawed until 1931 when Nevada opened the first legal casinos. Gambling houses would eventually move into a new home on the internet, where the possibilities feel endless.

The 20th century is known for the expansion of land casinos, especially those in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. These places offer a lot of entertainment, which leads a lot of people to visit them even though they are not particularly interested in gambling. We can attend music shows, stand-up comedies, and many other performances inside the big casinos.

Even though online platforms might be more popular today, these places are still the gathering sports of professionals, especially when it comes to poker players, and one of the most popular tournaments, World Series of Poker.

Digital Age

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The rise of the internet has changed many sectors throughout the world, and the casino is no exception. Online gaming has introduced an entirely new generation of gamblers and opened up unmeasurable opportunities and games.

The prototype online casino is said to have been launched way back in 1994, with no concrete way to trace it back to the initial site.

What is astonishing is that between 1996 and 1997, the number of online sites rose from 15 to 200. The American Gaming Association (AGA) estimated that in 2018 there were 2,800 sites active, with subject to rising. Online casinos have connected people from all over the world, with access becoming more available as time goes by.

Moreover, we have to mention the most recent improvements and implementation of modern technologies, such as the virtual reality, 3D casinos, and acceptance of cryptocurrencies. The 3D features and virtual reality could provide players with more realistic experience, while the main advantage of using an e-wallet is improved security, and much faster transactions.

We have to mention the cloud computing as well, which is allowing much better interface and transparency of website and apps, along with the developer’s abilities to add high-end features related to graphics, sounds, and animations.

Also, another interesting fact related to online platforms is the fact that they started attracting much more women and younger generations, which is not a case with land casinos. Besides that, a lot of people find it amusing to spend their free time while trying their luck on some website where they can choose from hundreds of games.

The Bottom Line

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Casinos may have changed in the digital and physical space over hundreds of years. What has remained ever-present is the persistence of humans wanting to participate in games of chance. As much as people move to an online world, they still enjoy the vibrancy and atmosphere of a real-life casino experience. In a sense, both the online and land-based alternatives now work to complement each other.

It will be interesting to see in which path will the further evolution of gambling go in the future. Also, we expect that land casinos will remain popular for a longer time, and it might be a great solution to attract those who are interested in having a unique experience, but also to spend more money on betting.

On the other hand, the focus will remain on the further improvements of digital platforms by developing new features, creating even more interesting games, and implementing the most recent solutions that could make people more satisfied while they are gambling.

About the author

Quentin Hack