Of High Stakes and Casinos
Casino Card Games
The source of gambling and casino games rentals is unfamiliar, but it was supposed to have first begun in China in 2300 BC. There are many gambling stories associated with different cultures. It is said that all children in Rome were taught gambling and to throw dice. According to the historians, a dispute between the rulers of Norway and Sweden was settled using dice in 1020 AD. King Olaf of Norway won the disputed land.
The card game was invented by the French in 1387 and cards were printed in Germany by Johann Gutenberg in 1440. During Napoleon’s time, an Egyptian-inspired card game, vingt-et-un, now known as Blackjack or Twenty-One, was quite popular.
The English came up with Hazard, a precursor to the dice game and poker games, an amalgamation of games inspired by the Persians and Italians. The poker game progressed when betting was introduced by the French and bluffing by the British.
In order to accommodate different gambling activities, it was played in a specific location. The first gambling house called the Ridotto was built in Venice, Italy in 1638 during the carnival season. It was a four-story house for playing different card games accompanied by some food and beverage for the gamblers. It was shut down in 1770 by the state government when they found that it led to bankruptcy. The term ‘casino’, originating from the Italian word ‘casa’, was referred to small club houses meant for social gatherings. Shutting down of large spaces pushed gambling to smaller venues, which were a hit.
In America, the gambling places were called saloons, which became the hub for drinking, gambling and meeting new people. Beginning of the 20th century saw gambling being banned by state legislation and reformers. But in 1931, it was officially recognized in Nevada and America’s legal casinos were set up. Just like the Venetians, many politicians thought of making money through illegal gambling and were sure that newly constructed Hoover Dam will bring in more tourists to Nevada. Soon, casinos attracted gamblers to Reno and Las Vegas, where Strip, a neon-themed casino and glamorous stage shows started being held. By 1978, gambling was legalized in Atlantic City, New Jersey and in the late 80s, the Native American tribes set up their casinos which changed the casino culture in the US.
In the 90s, online gambling emerged after the Free Trade and Processing Act was passed in the Caribbean. The worldwide online gaming revenue is expected to touch $7.1bn by the end of 2014.