The spread and development of gambling and gambling machines throughout history


Gambling has always been present among people. Most archaeological finds indicate that gambling has been present in most cultures throughout human history. In prehistoric times, gambling was mainly associated with religious rites in primitive societies. These rituals were intended to foretell the future and explain what “incomprehensible was”. Gambling as a ritual was initially a relatively simple process and consisted of throwing small objects such as small bones, stones, nuts. Over time the process became more complex. During the time, gambling broke away from religious rites into a particular activity, which helped in decision-making. A crucial step in gambling games’ evolution is when people decided to gamble with their bets from entertainment for material gain. The small bones such as ankles became the direct forerunners of modern dices. Descriptions of gambling have been found in ancient Chinese writings dating to about 2300 BC; this shows that the history of gambling is almost as old as humanity. A pair of ivory dices, made around 1500 BC, was found in Egypt. The Pyramid of Cheops in Giza near Cairo hides a mythical explanation of today’s 365 days. Namely, Toth, the god of wisdom, gambling with the Moon, won 5 new days, which he added to the Egyptian calendar of 360 days.

The inhabitants of ancient India, Greece, and Rome also practiced some form of gambling. Ancient Greece’s myths describe how Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon divided the universe into heaven, hell, and the sea by throwing dice. The Greeks also believed that the mythological hero Palamedes created gambling games to entertain Greek troops during the Trojan War. Legend has it that Julius Caesar decided to cross the Rubicon only after he “threw the dice.” In the Roman Empire, almost everyone, from nobles to citizens, gambled. Even slaves loved to gamble. The Roman emperor Augustus also had laws against gambling. Gambling was officially allowed for a week while the festival lasted in honor of the god Saturn. Even Caligula talked about important things at the gambling table. Archaeologists have discovered a large number of dice and gambling tables in the ruins of Pompeii. In medieval Europe, dice games were very popular. Playing cards were brought to Europe from Asia in the middle of the 14th century and replaced dice as the most popular way to gamble. Bets were “invented” in France in 1860, from where they spread to Great Britain and other European countries, Australia and the United States. One version of the history of roulette, which in French means “the little wheel,” says that the mathematician Blaise Pascal constructed it, in 1655; the other version says it was invented by the Chinese and arrived in Europe through Dominican monks. The only sure thing is that Francois and Louis Blanc made the modern version of roulette. Legend has it that Francois sold his soul to the devil in exchange for the “secret of roulette”, so the sum of all the numbers on roulette is 666. The Europeans took the dice with them to a “New world” where it experienced a real boom. Playing poker for money from around 1800 was treated in American culture and law as a form of gambling. From the Great Depression, it moves progressively into the legalization of gambling, and this process is still relevant today.

History of slot machines

The first mechanical automaton was invented in 1894 in San Francisco by a car mechanic, an emigrant from Bavaria named Charles Fey. The machine was called the Liberty Bell; it had three reels on which were painted diamonds, hearts, shovels, and bells. The principle is still relevant today – a player wins a prize if he has three bells. These machines have achieved tremendous success. Twelve years later, in Chicago, arcade game manufacturers began producing devices very similar to the Liberty Bell. However, there were many problems with such machines because they were easy to fool. In 1909, slot machines were banned in San Francisco, a year later in Nevada, and in 1911, slot machines were banned throughout California. However, in 1930 Nevada legalized gambling again by allowing horse racing betting, and in 1931 it completely legalized gambling, and overnight casinos and even entire cities rose in the desert. In 1935, an automatic dice machine was launched. Atlantic City followed Nevada in 1978, and since then, most states in the United States have legalized various forms of gambling.

The age of electronics

Electronic slot machines were made in the mid-1960s, and they were safer than mechanical ones. The first video slot machine was introduced in Las Vegas in 1975. Initially, video slot machines were not well accepted by players. These video machines are gaining their place in the gaming industry in the 80s after receiving the increasingly popular video games. In 1984, a wave of video poker began. Today, the gaming industry is claimed to be one of the fastest-growing globally, and it is estimated to spin hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

Online gambling

Online gambling has seen a phenomenal rise in popularity, and profits have shown signs of remarkable growth in recent years. Barriers to gambling were overcome in 1994, when Antigua and Barbuda’s government, small islands in the Caribbean, passed a law that would allow companies to get permission to operate online casinos across the Internet. It is currently estimated that there are tens of thousands of online gambling sites that include casinos, sports betting, poker rooms, lotto, horse racing, and bingo. However, in many countries globally, internet gambling is still not legally regulated, i.e., legalized.

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