Gambling has a long history: the fascination of playing with probabilities and one’s own luck is by no means a recent phenomenon. It has almost always been a popular pastime for people. 

Of course, there were not as sophisticated games or prizes such as the best casino bonuses for UK players back then as there are today, but certain similarities can still be observed. Therefore, we’ll have a closer look at the gambling timeline throughout history to understand where we are right now. 

The Beginnings of Gambling
The first gambling was probably invented more than 5,000 years ago. The first dice were found dating back to 3,000 BC and were used in China. However, the six-sided dice we know today were found in Egypt in 2000 BC. These dice were still made of bone or ivory. Another dice found there had the shape of a pyramid.

Just like gambling itself, corresponding prohibitions and restrictions can also look back on a long history. As early as the 4th century BC, there were initial ideas about how it should be restricted and taxed. 

Gambling in Ancient Times
In ancient Rome, dice games of all kinds were extremely popular among all social classes, although they were officially punishable. Only on Saturnalia, or high feast days, was the game of dice allowed. Roman law did not provide any protection for the losers of a game. Even gambling debts could not be sued for at that time. If gamblers were caught, the house where they gambled was confiscated.

The early form of sports betting in the context of gladiator fights was legal. Horse betting was also invented in Greece in ancient times. For the 23rd Olympiad, gallop races were held on which anyone could bet.

Middle Ages: The Golden Age
Gambling transactions were considered immoral in the Middle Ages. However, in the 12th century, the English king Richard the Lionheart decreed that throwing dice for money as a wager should be reserved for the higher classes and that one had to be at least a knight to do so.

Despite these restrictions, the Middle Ages are today considered the golden age of gambling. The first gambling establishments were built. However, it was reserved for the upper class to gamble. The lower class tended to stay in the inns. Members of the noble houses organized private gaming evenings and contributed to a lively culture of gambling.

First Casinos
To drive gambling out of the back rooms and taverns and to allow the state to participate in the huge market, the first casino in the world, the “Ridotto”, was founded in Venice in 1638. Anyone with the right budget could gamble here. Of course, the strict dress code had to be observed at all times. 

The casino became a successful model and established itself in many other countries in Europe. It was partly due to these favorable circumstances that the Prince of Monaco was able to lead the Monte Carlo casino to such great success. The casino is world famous and still contributes five percent of Monaco’s national budget.

Gambling in Modern Times
Slot machines have been around since the end of the 19th century. In 1896, the first dice machine was put into operation, and in 1899 the first reel machine. The latter quickly became very famous as “one-armed bandits” and usually depicted lucky symbols such as bell and horseshoe, as well as the card symbols. Las Vegas, since the 1950s, has been considered, by many people, to be the modern day gambling capital of the world.

Nowadays, online casinos play an important role in gambling, and the first gambling software was released in 1994. Not all countries allow the virtual form of gambling. But as the past has shown: Bans and restrictions on gambling usually do not last.