What time did gamblers first begin to play? Although the exact date is not known, dice pairs have been found in Egyptian tombs dating back over 4,000 years. Gambling games were also played in ancient China, where Poker is believed to have originated. Native Americans bet on the outcome of a game that resembled LaCross in 1492, during the Columbus landing. What year did this all begin in America? Continue reading.
Gambling in America began with the arrival of the English settlers in 1600. They had aristocratic traditions that included card games. Puritans settled in Massachusetts Bay and were able to establish their own culture, which included hostility towards gamblers. They made it illegal to possess dice, cards or gambling tables in their communities. Gambling was still legal in some other areas. Gambling was a popular form of entertainment for many English colonists.
Virginia, the colony that first realized that lotteries could raise capital to support local governments was the first. All 13 colonies eventually raised lottery revenue. These funds helped to build universities like Harvard, Yale, Princeton. Lotteries also helped fund churches and libraries. Ben Franklin, John Hancock, and George Washington, the Founding Fathers, were proponents of lotteries that would fund public works projects. The Continental Congress voted to fund the Revolutionary War with a $10 million lottery when it began.
In the early 1800’s, taverns were allowed to play dice and card games. This was the beginning of the modern casino. As America’s population grew, so did the demand for casinos. Merchants and entrepreneurs used the Mississippi River to transport their money. Gambling on riverboats was a popular pastime, and New Orleans became America’s gambling capital. Gambling was a popular pastime for pioneers who came to California in the golden rush. There were many gambling establishments that flourished west of the Mississippi, Nevada included. The Slot Machine was created and Roulette was imported from France in the latter part of the 1800s.
Gambling was seen as a social ill by a large portion of the public because it was associated with prostitution and alcoholism. The Dens of Iniquity were shut down by reformers. Lotteries were also stopped by most states. The railroad made riverboat gambling obsolete. Only Nevada was allowed to gamble by the end of this century.
The Nevada legislature finally closed the gambling doors in 1910, making horse racing wagering the only legal entity within the United States. New Mexico and Arizona were granted statehood in 1912 under the condition that gambling was not allowed. During prohibition, the public’s desire for gambling was equal to that of alcohol. Along with the speakeasys, casinos went underground. Nevada, which had been the only state to legalize gambling until the second half of the 20th century, did so again in 1931. As organized crime made large investments in Nevada, gambling flourished underground. They also controlled off-track betting and the numbers lottery.
The U.S. Senate was investigating organized crime’s connection to illegal gambling in the 1950s. The mob eventually left Las Vegas. States made it easier for bookies to get out of business by legalizing numbers and track betting. The Indian Gaming Act, which was approved by Congress in the late 1980’s, allowed Atlantic City to gamble in 1976. The return of riverboat gambling was made possible by racetracks installing slot machines. Las Vegas rebuilt itself in the 1990’s with mega resorts.
According to the American Gaming Association, there are 832 988 slot machines in 1,151 casinos and racetracks throughout 44 states. More are on the way. The American culture’s appetite for gambling seems to be similar to that of the Egyptian Pharaohs. Gambling has been accepted as acceptable entertainment in America.
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Dennis Occhino is the founder of , where you’ll find More than 70 articles ranging from casino customs, table games, machine games, and probably some games you never heard of. These articles will show you how to play them with videos and links that allow for free play. You can purchase products and publications. This site teaches you how to be responsible and when to run with the money.