Just like most typically American phenomena, gambling did not actually originate in the US. Most of the popular gambling games played in the American casinos have their origin abroad.
As a matter of fact, gambling and betting is probably about as old as human culture.
It's a gambling world out there
Numerous gambling games began in the ancient Chinese culture. For example, Keno in its original form was a popular Chinese lottery game. Pai Gow Poker is the Americanized and simplified version of the ancient Chinese game Pai Gow. But China is not the only country to have contributed to the world of gambling.
With the invention of the wheel in Babylonia 3.500 B.C, roulette like games probably weren't far away, and soldiers in ancient Greece are known to have played dice. Games like Craps, Baccarat, Roulette, and Blackjack all have their roots in different parts of Europe.
Casinos were centers of entertainment
Casinos originally were public halls for music and dancing. Not until the second half of the 19th century the term came to mean a collection of gaming rooms. For long the world's best-known casino opened 1861 in Monte Carlo.
Nowadays casinos have an almost uniform character throughout the world. In the United States, legal casinos were long available only in Las Vegas and other locations in Nevada, where certain forms of commercialized gambling were permitted by the law.
The Las Vegas economy is dependent on the large, luxurious casinos that have operated there since the late 1940s. Casino gambling was introduced in Atlantic City, N.J., in 1978.
From the 1980s casinos also began appearing on various American Indian reservations, which are not subject to state antigambling statutes. Other legal casinos are located on riverboats or by special license in Puerto Rico.
Online casinos - the tip of the iceberg
Internet gambling is the latest addition to this thousand year old history. Although the history of the internet as such is extremely short in this perspective, the online gambling market has more or less exploded in recent years. Not only can you now play roulette, craps, and blackjack online, but also the slot machines have found their way into online casinos.
To ensure security and the safety of their clients' personal and financial information, serious online casinos use the same technology as the major banking and credit card institutions; look for SSL digital encryption. They also keep all transactions on file if any kind of dispute should arise.
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