The history of casino games spans centuries. We can rightly say that gambling spans thousands of years before Christ with initial events surrounding magic rituals and fortune telling. Some date the actual lure to gambling to Ancient Rome in the 6th century BC when Circuls was created, a place where visitors went to play craps and bet money. However, the actual history of a real casino was the first gambling establishment called II Ridotto which was opened legally in Venice in 1638. The word ‘casino” is actually Italian and means “small house”.
The origin of this word could be explained by the fact that before the first legal casino, patrons often played and gambled in private houses. When the II Ridotto casino opened its doors, it was believed it had been created to entertain people using gaming at the popular Venetian carnival. As expected, the casino was only opened to privileged people and bets were notoriously massive. The Venetian government loved these casinos because they provided means to exert high taxes on the activities thereby bringing benefits to the state. However, the church was not fond of this form of amusement and drove the government to close the casino and declare gambling illegal – play for real on King Casino today.
From Italy and beyond
Despite the negative attitude of the church to casinos and gambling in general, the lure to that form of entertainment was already established and casino fashion began spreading outside Italy, first to France which opened its first casino in Paris, thanks to Cardinal Mazarin. This casino also featured a novelty game, the roulette game whose social stance further made casino games more popular. By the 18th century, other European countries began creating their own casinos and often offered patrons the chance to win decent money.
By now, the interiors of casinos were becoming more refined and care was taken to make casinos as comfortable as possible to keep patrons ‘at work’ for hours and hours. Casinos were also very popular because they became an avenue for prosperous citizens to be seen. There they gambled over discussions of politics, art and music. However, by the end of the 19th century, gambling was once again made illegal and many casinos were forced to close. However, casinos in Monte Carlo remained afloat since the region had no gambling restrictions.
The American casino gaming scene
Casinos began making their way into American history and were often called saloons. These saloons were famous in four major cities including Chicago, San Francisco, St. Louis and New Orleans. Travelers would often visit these salons where they found people to have conversations with and gamble. However, the U.S government outlawed gambling in the early 20th century. It was not until 1932 that gambling became legal in the state of Nevada where the government allowed the first legalized casinos. By 1976, gambling was made legal in Atlantic City, New Jersey and became the second largest gambling city in the U.S.
The history of casino games spans several civilizations ago. And it continues evolving with the prevalence of online casinos driving the growth of gambling across the ends of the earth.