Even though gambling is very popular in the United States, it did not originate there. A number of popular casino games originated abroad.
Gambling is ancient, and its exact origin is not known. The first official record of gambling was made by the Chinese in 2300 BC. Keno and Pai Gow Poker are both Chinese in origin. Though China has made significant contributions to casino gaming, it is not the only country. Ancient Rome, Greece and Babylon have also played an important role in the development and evolution of casinos. Various casino games such as Baccarat, Craps, Roulette and BlackJack have European roots. There are many instances and stories of “games of chance” and casino games throughout European history. Even before formal casinos were developed, people indulged in gambling for many years.
The Egyptian version of Roulette was very popular with the French working class in the 16th century. It is believed that the modern game of poker has English, Persian and Italian influences.
The word “casino” itself is Italian in origin and means gambling house. However, in the beginning, casinos were developed as halls for music and dance. It was only later, in the 19th century, that the term was used to refer to a gambling house. The first casino was built in Italy in the 17th century. The world’s best know casino is situated in Monte Carlo.
In the United States, gambling first occurred in San Francisco and New Orleans. But soon, due to an increase in popularity, casinos began mushrooming throughout the country. For a long period of time in the US, casinos were legal only in Las Vegas and certain other places in Nevada. The State of Nevada legalized gambling as a way to fight the Great Depression. Many casinos were owned by gangsters. However, after the government legitimized casinos, many have gained respectability. Las Vegas continues to remain one of the most popular gambling destinations in the US. Casinos grew rapidly and became more complex organizations.
The latest entrants in this history of gambling are online casinos and Internet gambling. All popular casino games now have Internet versions. Online casinos are secure and adhere to high standards of safety for money transactions. The online gambling industry is growing at a very rapid pace. The casino industry is now a major contributor to the economy. It brings in billions of dollars of revenue every year.