Casinos are now a ubiquitous feature of the modern world, but their origins can be traced back thousands of years to ancient civilizations where gambling was a popular pastime. From the Chinese to the Greeks, people have been placing bets and playing games of chance for centuries, and the rise of organized gambling establishments began in Europe during the 17th century.
The word “casino” comes from the Italian word for “little house,” and the first casinos were small establishments that primarily offered card games like baccarat and blackjack. These early casinos were typically found in Italy, France, and Germany, and were often run by wealthy aristocrats who enjoyed gambling as a hobby.
Over time, the popularity of gambling spread throughout Europe and beyond, and the first casinos outside of Europe were established in the United States during the 19th century. These early casinos were primarily located in the frontier towns of the American West, where they catered to miners and cowboys looking for a bit of excitement and a chance to win big.
Here are some of the most interesting facts about the first casinos in the world. We learned about most of them thanks to the Online Casino Hub Australia website.
Venice – the birthplace of casinos
Apart from Campione d’Italia, this country is also home to the first modern casino in history. It happened in 1638 in Venice, when the first gambling houses – Ridotto – started to open here.
Before the official opening, this was the name of illegal gambling organizations in Venice.
After such legalization, Ridotto became available only for rich citizens: visitors of Italian casinos of the XVII century had to pass a strict dress code, wear expensive clothes, hats, and play only for high stakes.
Another requirement for players was that they had to wear masks. Not medical ones, of course.
The most popular game there was something like modern roulette, and these casinos were closed at the end of the eighteenth century for ethical reasons.
China is the birthplace of underground casinos
Almost a thousand years before casinos appeared in Italy, organizations remotely similar to casinos were welcoming guests in China.
However, only high-ranking officials could enter them, and all activities related to gambling were held in strict secrecy.
In the XVII century, a criminal power, the Triad, was formed here, which ruled officials and the Chinese government, in particular, because of the latter’s debts in casinos.
China has never seen legal gambling, as today most types of gambling are banned on the Chinese mainland.
What about Las Vegas?
In fact, Las Vegas received the status of the “gambling capital” relatively recently – in the middle of the last century.
Prior to that, the center of gambling in America was New Orleans, from where semi-legal gambling “saloons” began to spread to the West Coast in the early 1800s.
Casinos appeared in many cities that were not controlled by the state and became a gathering center for all criminal elements of the Wild West.
These cities included Kansas City, Denver, Dodge City, Deadwood, and others.
Already during the gold rush in the middle of the XIX century, the city of San Francisco became the main center of gambling on the North American continent.
Trains to Monte Carlo
As for Europe, the key to the success of casinos in the most popular district of Monaco is the transportation system.
The idea of building a casino in Monte Carlo belongs to Prince Charles III of Monaco of the Grimaldi dynasty – according to his mother, the gambling establishment was supposed to help the financial situation of the royal family.
However, when the casino was opened in Monte Carlo in 1856, there were no roads and infrastructure for tourists, and Charles III himself failed in the marketing campaign of his gambling enterprise.
Approximately 10 years later, thanks to the help of many Catholic investors, Monaco casinos were revitalized and a railroad was built to reach them.
Since then, the dwarf state on the French coast has been the main gambling center for wealthy Europeans.
Roulette in Europe
The construction of a casino in Monte Carlo would have been a big question mark if a hundred years before, Europeans hadn’t become fond of one game of chance – roulette.
Starting in the second half of the 18th century, roulette became one of the main reasons for the creation of the first legal casinos in France, Belgium, and Germany.
Some of the casinos that opened at that time are still operating today. For example, a casino in the resort town of Baden-Baden that was built in 1809.
By the way, it was in Germany that the symbol with a double zero on the roulette wheel was replaced with “0” or “zero”.
Which country currently has the largest number of casinos?
Currently, the largest number of casinos are located in China. The largest gambling zone in the world, Macau, located in China, is home to the largest casinos in the world. It attracts many tourists from all over the world and generates huge revenues for the Chinese economy. In addition, China also has numerous casinos in the mainland, such as in Guangdong and Shanghai, which also attract many players. However, it is worth noting that in China, laws restrict access to gambling establishments, and many casinos operate in a gray area.
Conclusions: the place of the casino in modern civilization
Casinos are no longer just places to try your luck at gambling. They have become real tourist centers where you can spend time with pleasure, enjoy the show program, try culinary delights and feel the atmosphere of excitement. Casinos are places where a combination of different cultures takes place, as players from all over the world come there. In addition, casinos have a great impact on the economy of the cities and countries where they are located, providing jobs and generating revenue for the state.
Casinos also play an important role in the development of tourism. Casino resorts are popular holiday destinations that attract many tourists from all over the world. They influence the development of hotel and entertainment infrastructure, which, in turn, contributes to an increase in the tourist flow and profits for cities and countries. In addition, casino resorts are often located in beautiful places where you can enjoy the scenery and natural beauty.
Thus, casinos occupy an important place in the global economy and tourism. They are not only places for gambling, but also centers of entertainment, tourism and culture. It is important to note that casinos must operate in accordance with the laws and take steps to prevent gambling problems. Only then will they be able to continue their development and remain an important element in the global tourism and economy.