History of Gambling
Gambling is one of the most ancient pursuits known to
humanity. Archeological evidences indicate that even the
earliest man staying in caves was a gambler.
Gambling - 40,000 years ago –
Traces can be found of dice like objects (called
Astragali) made by the ankle bone of a sheep or a dog
dating back to 40,000 years ago. The drawings found in
the caves show that gambling existed then. Pairs of dice
have been found in the ruins of Pompeii, some of which
were designed to fall in a certain way.
In 2300 BC –
Sometime during 2300 BC, Chinese are said to have
invented a game of chance using tiles. Later Greek
soldiers played dice games for entertainment, though
gambling was illegal in ancient Greece. Ancient gambling
artifacts have been found in China, Japan, India and
Rome. A pair of ivory dice has been found in Thebes,
Egypt belonging to 1500 BC.
Claudius restructured his carriage to make more room to
throw dice in ancient Rome. Caligula confiscated the
knights’ property for covering the gambling losses.
Roman soldiers gambled for Christ’s robes after his
crucification. When the Roman Empire was at its high,
the lawmakers declared that children were to be taught
In the 14th Century –
King Henry VIII, inspite of being a gambler himself,
outlawed gambling when his soldiers spent more time in
gambling than in improving their battle skills.
New World –
In the New world, The Native Americans were of the
belief that the game of chances was invented by gods
themselves. They played dice with plum stones painted in
white or black. With wagering, they also played for
predicting harvests and curing serious illnesses.
In 18th and 19th Centuries –
The Continental Army played lotteries during the
Revolutionary War. Washington bought the first ticket of
a federal lottery in 1793 sponsoring finance
improvements in the District of Columbia, and during
this time, almost all the states sanctioned lotteries.
Lotteries became a very popular fund-raising method in
the 18th and 19th Centuries.
the 1830s, refugee sharper from South opened the
nation’s first ‘Wolf-Traps’ or ’10 Percent Houses’ in
Cincinnati. ‘Horse-Hair Game’ was also born in
After Civil War –
The reform cleared out
most of the lotteries and in 1890s. With a fraud in
Louisiana Lottery, Congress outlawed the other games,
disdaining the public form lotteries. In 1910, Nevada
made operating a gambling game an offence.
underground for sometime, but in 1930s due to loosening
of the restrictions, legalized betting on horse racing
gained popularity. Nevada legalized gambling in 1931 and
more casinos came up. The Atlantic City in 1978 and
gradually all other states too legalized different forms
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