The History of Gambling

If you think gambling is a recent invention, you're way off base! Placing wagers is an art that's thousands, even tens of thousands, of years old. There's no guarantee that knowing more about gambling's past, present and future will help you win, but it sure makes for interesting reading…

The Emergence of Playing Cards

From the 6th century CE onwards, Koreans used cards made of paper and silk that they called "fighting arrows." Used in "games" that had as much in common with tarot readings as they did with poker or blackjack, they would later inspire early Chinese paper money.

Hazard and Craps

A simple version of Hazard, a European dice game, craps (a mispronunciation of crabs) became popular in New Orleans. Its name refers to the numbers 2 and 3; instant losers for wagers on Pass.

Gambling Goes Online

In the mid-90s, Microgaming began to develop an early form of online gambling software. In 1996 InterCasino, offering just 18 casino games, accepted the first real money wager on the web.

The State of Modern-Day Gambling

With land-based gambling venues in many major cities, and online gambling flourishing, more and more people are dipping into the world of real money wagers. New records are being set every year!

The Future?

Available in bricks and mortar venues, on laptops and desktops, and via mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, gambling is fast approaching ubiquity!

It's difficult to know what will come next in the world of gambling, though one has to assume that online gambling will continue to go from strength to strength. It's likely that the popularization of augmented reality, virtual reality and 3D technology will see the lines between online and offline gambling continue to blur; we've already seen the beginnings of this with live dealer gambling.

In the not too distant future, say 2050, online gamblers might be able to take a stroll down the virtual strip and sit down at a virtual table that's somehow connected (via technology akin to that of live dealer gaming) to a real table in Las Vegas. Again, this isn't a million miles away from the virtual terminals in land-based venues that allow wagers on real tables located elsewhere in the casino.

As jackpots continue to grow, thanks to "mega lotteries" and progressive slot machines, we also expect to see a lot more millionaires created by gambling. In fact, we're practically counting down the days until we see someone land a $100 million jackpot from some title or other. The USA's Powerball lottery jackpot has already hit more than $1 billion! Before taxes, of course…/p>

The only thing that's impossible to deny is that, with the possible exception of the mob-fueled excesses of 1950s Las Vegas, there's never been a more exciting time to be a gambler!

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