The Evolution Of Gambling

Published 11:03 am Tuesday, November 8, 2022

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Gambling has changed much in recent years, let alone over the course of history. Once upon a time you would have to go into a sketchy underground facility due to the illegality of gambling, but now you can just pop up live casino on your mobile phone. 

How did we get here, and how did gambling even come to be? These are the questions we have. 

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Thanks to gambling having such a complicated and long history, no one really knows where it came from, who thought it up, or what spurred the urge to try. 

We can track back as far as we want in history and find very little information on its inception. However, we can trace as far back as we want but what we do know is that many ancient gambling concepts such as roulette came from Asia. 

Roulette alone started around 2300 BC, and China is the first to have exhibited this behavior. It is something that multiple studies have shown, gambling has been around for a very, very long time. 

As it emerged, many games came to be, with different methods, it grew, and diversified, and turned into the massive industry we know of today. 

So, how did it evolve as far as we can tell? Let’s tell you how! 

 Early Evidence

The earliest evidence that we can find of gambling behaviors is in China. Chinese employed titles as gambling games which were dependent on chance around the 3 millennium before Christ, and Greeks would use dice to pass for the first time. 

However, gambling in Greece was even illegal in those times. 

As part of spirituality, Native Americans used games of chance and used dice from plum stones, and even after Europeans came to North America, Natives were using dice to win items and belongings off each other, as well as see the future of others. 

Ancient Cards

China is known to have taken a prominent role in the history of gambling. Yet, before online casinos and betting bonus cards were a thing, there was something which was known as “white pigeon ticket”, it was a game. 

This game dated back over 2,000 years, which is much longer than the life span of any modern casino, or even really the concept of a casino as it is today at all. 

There are also some historians who believe that games which involve card-playing, often referred to as relics of Ancient China, were actually a concept that the Chinese invented. 

It would seem that originally, the cards would typically show human figures, but when these concepts made it to Europe, the Europeans added on Queens, Kings, and other illustrations to the cards as these games spread and adapted. 

The First Slots! 

One of a gambler’s favorites is the slot machine, and funny enough, slot machines are actually one of the earlier concepts of modern gambling, as they dated from around the end of the 19th century. 

A firm known as Sittman and Pitt developed the first concept of a slot machine back in 1891, which contained 5 drums which held 50 playing cards.

These machines were very popular and often were found in bars, only costing a nickel. You would drop your money into the slot and turn the handle. Then you pull a switch to start to play. You could get a prize if you played the cards correctly.

Sounds very familiar, doesn’t it?

Each machine would be down on two cards, which increased the edge of the house. It also did not have a direct payout feature, you would collect your reward at the bar, which would often be liquor or cigarettes. 

Online Gambling

It has been claimed that the first ever casino online was in 1994, however, it does not seem to exist as a record. What we do know is that microgaming, which is a casino development software company in the online gambling sector, was a part developer in the launch of the first ever online site for gambling. 

Online gambling was the next big thing, and it took off like crazy. It has seen another massive development over the last 2 decades since the Gaming Commission came about in ‘96. 

The commission is owned and controlled by a Mohawk Indian tribe in Canada. It is noted that the gambling industry birth led to the online version growing at an insane rate. In just 1 year (96-97) online gambling sites increased to 15 of them! 

By 1997, online gambling industries had grown so much, there was a good $1 billion in revenue per annum already to be seen! 

Gambling Via Mobile

Finally, gambling and casinos made it to mobile phones and devices. When game developers in 2005 designed a mobile specific casino software, the roots for mobile casinos grew. 

The system was very compatible with bingo, slots, and poker established an introduction to online gambling via mobile devices.

Even now, more countries are legalizing mobile/online gambling, and while in the US there are still a few states to do so, the amount of places legalizing it grows by the day!