Gambling from 3000 BC to Today’s Online Casino

Last Updated on March 31, 2022

The Evolution of Gambling from 3000 BC to Today’s Online Casino

Gambling has been around for a long time, but it wasn’t the same as the gambling activities that we engage in today. Most of the games on online casinos have a variety of origin, with some coming from various cultures. Other games are a cross of various games that have evolved over the years. The history of gambling and evolution over time goes hand in hand with the development of the world.

The Evolution of Gambling To Online Casinos

The evolution of gambling is an exciting story from paper cards, chips, online casinos, and virtual gambling games. It is a rich history, and it is an industry that has grown from the shadows into a multi-million dollar industry. It is an industry that has overcome multiple challenges, including bans.

Over the centuries, there have always been mixed feelings about betting, whether in an establishment or an online platform. Despite all the challenges, the betting industry is still growing in the virtual space. The beauty of it is that there is still a lot of potential in online casinos, which is the latest evolution.

What are the Major Changes in the Evolution of Gambling?

The evolution of gambling includes the invention of various betting games in different cultures, and how gamblers hid the games from the authorities. The invention of gambling games was not easy, and in some cases, the authorities banned the games. There were times where anyone who was found betting had to pay a fine. 

The other changes came when new games came from mixing two or more popular games. The trials for bonding two games play an essential role in the evolution of casino games. Most of the current games are two or more merged games from the past. The evolution was necessary to keep gamblers interested enough to keep betting. 

Finally, the improvement in technology is a significant factor in the emergence of online casinos. The games were available, and a few tech companies found how to run casinos online. Currently, there are over 3,000 online casino games available for online casino owners to buy or licensee. The increase in players willing to subscribe to online casinos has cemented the current stage of evolution. However, the basics of betting have not changed much over the years. The only change is the odds of winning, delivery method, and the rules of engagement.

The Evolution of Gambling

The earliest form of gambling is marked by several important dates that significantly impacted the industry. The earliest evidence of gambling is estimated to come from ancient China in 2300bc. Understanding the various changes in the betting industry will help you see how far the industry has come. Hopefully, you will appreciate your online casino more for bringing a variety of games to you at your home’s comfort.

3000BC – A Pair of Dice from an Egyptian Tomb

The first pair of dice was found in a tomb that was built in 3000BC. Gambling in Egypt was not a new concept, and the discovery of the pair of dice wasn’t that surprising. There is no evidence of whether the dice were for playing games or other activities. The dating of the tomb places the invention of a pair of dice long before other betting accessories.

Old Egypt Antique Dice For Gambling

In 500BC, a Greek poet by the name of Sophocles made claims that the dice was an invention by the imaginary, legendary hero Troy. The poet’s works were the first writings that mentioned the use of dice in gambling. Although the Romans and Greeks were fantastic with a dice pair, Egypt takes the cup for being the inventor. However, the Romans did play a crucial role in the evolution of gambling in 500bc.

2300BC – Lotteries in Ancient China

There has been some form of betting and gambling throughout the history of humanity. However, the evidence for the earliest forms of lotteries comes from ancient China. The discovery includes tiles found in ancient China, and the carbon dating places the tiles to come from 2300BC. There was always some contemplation about the existence of lotteries in ancient China. A passage in the Chinese “Book of Songs” refers to the “the drawing of wood” the way kids draw sticks to choose who’s it.

The evidentiary tiles that were assumed to be used in a game of chance. The slips resemble the keno slips that were used in lotteries in 200BC. The discovery is the available evidence that can place how far in time when lotteries started. No one knows how lotteries worked back then, and the tiles prove that ancient Chinese invented some form of lottery. Overall, China’s rudimental game may have been a common practice that was developed over the years.

 500BC – Invention of Gambling Chips

Gambling was popular with ancient Greeks and Romans. To control gambling, ancient Rome banned any form of gambling in the city. Additionally, there was a fine for anyone who was found engaging in gambling activities. The penalty cost four times the bet of the person arrested for gambling. The new law threatened the gambling business, and something had to be done to change that.

As an adaptation method, ancient Romans started using gambling chips to avoid being fined. The chips represented money for betting. If anyone was caught, they could say that bets were for wooden chips instead of money. It reduced the chances of being fined for gambling since no real money was changing hands. The gambling chips are still in use by casinos. The design is different, but the purpose of the chips is the same. They represent the amount of money you are willing to bet in a game.

 800AD – Playing Cards

China was the first country to play gambling games with playing cards. The game is believed to be different from what card games are nowadays. The widespread assumption is that the cards were the stake as well as the game. Some believe the card games were similar to the trading games kids play. No one knows what games the cars used to play except that the deck was different from the 52 card deck we currently use. The invention of cards has undergone a lot of evolution since 800AD. 

1400s – Baccarat Game in Europe

The first game of Baccarat was played in Italy and France. It is different from the current game of Baccarat, and it included two players. The first mention of the earliest game of Baccarat was in conjunction to immigrate from France and Italy from the USA. The game underwent an evolution as more and more people grew an interest in playing the game.

The fantastic thing is that the current game of Baccarat is similar to one that originated from Cuba. The version is Cuba was from Britain, but the current game has undergone some changes over the years. The rules are different from what people played in Cuba long ago. The most significant selling point of the game is that spectators enjoy watching lucky winners make more with each round. It is a beautiful attraction for spectators in physical casinos.

1600 – Blackjack

Blackjack HandThere are several disputes over the origin of the blackjack over the years. The current game came to America with early immigrates from France. The original game from France was known as Vingt-et-un, and the French tried to teach the game to Americans. The name of the game evolved into blackjack later on as casinos started popping up in Nevada. The name stuck after people started playing the game in Nevada. 

Other claims as the source of blackjack include a Spanish game called Ventiuna. Another claim is a French game called Quinze a few decades before 1600. The founders of the game did not state the time they come up with it. The consensus is that the game initially began in the 17th century and evolved over the years when it came to the USA. 

1638 – First Casino

The first establishment that was similar to a casino was Ridotto in Venice. The establishment accepted betting activities, and it provided a safe environment for gamblers. It was running during the high seasons of the annual carnival. The success of the establishment was reason enough to keep the establishment operating. The establishment was an inspiration to business owners to start a gambling establishment all over Italy.

It took a while for the trend to catch on. More casinos were set up across Europe by the beginning of the 19th century. The establishments kept on evolving to the current casinos that we know today. In the 17th century, only small informal establishments in the USA acted as gambling establishments along the Mississippi River. Gambling was for wealthy farmers after a bounty harvest, and they wanted to have some fun. 

1796 – Roulette

Showing Old Antique Roulette TableFrance was among the first country to adopt a gambling establishment and various casino games. Some people wanted more than the games that the gaming houses had to offers. In 1796, the roulette wheel was invented in Paris, and it started the evolution of the roulette game. The original wheel had had one green zero. 


The American version became popular in the 19th century after the Monte Carlo casino started using a wheel version. The new American version spread to Europe and increased the popularity of the game. The current version of the game is known as the American Roulette wheel. The wheel that Americans use has the original double-zero wheels. But the most popular one to play today is the European Roulette with a single zero, as the odds of winning is better.

1829 – Poker

Poker is another popular game, and no one truly knows the origin of the game. It is hard to pinpoint the source of the game because there were various card games over the centuries. The earliest mention of a poker version was when John Crowell, an English actor, said he saw the game in New Orleans. The poker game took a while before it became popular in the USA and the rest of the world.

Various countries had card games that could have been the origin of poker. China had the first playing cards and a long time to invent poker. Persians were avid trade men, and the French were lovers of betting games. There is a possibility of poker originating from a variety of countries. Therefore, the actor’s sighting was the first date that anyone was specific about seeing a poker game. 

Over the years, the poker game gained popularity, and it blew up when the game was introduced in 1970 in Vegas in tournaments. It became part of the online games when a player in 2003 won the championship after qualifying through an online poker game. The game is popular with online players, and it has turned a lot of players into millionaires. Poker is a game of odds, and it is popular with a lot of people, whether online or in a casino. Illegal poker games are popular in the USA.

1891 – Early Slot Games 

Slots games have gained popularity over the years, but it was a card slot game in the beginning. Messrs Sittman and Pitt made the first slots machine in NewYork. It was a king of poker game in a slots machine. There was another machine that was invented in San Francisco by Charles Fey. The Charles Fey machine was an efficient slot machine for gaming, and a lot of people made good winnings.

After that, more machines proved to be effective, and more business owners invested in slots. The slots gave cigars and gum as the reward to winners. The rewards changed into money after a few years when the machines kept on evolving. The game evolved into a video game of slots around 1976. Nowadays, online slots games are among the simplest online casino games to play and win a fair chance. 

1910 – Ban on Gambling

The 1910 ban on gambling was meant to slow down the gambling activity in the USA. However, the ban on gambling did not kill the industry. The industry kept thriving discreetly during the ban, and the industry kept on growing. The ban was because there was public pressure for the government to ban gambling and alcohol. 

There were two factions when it came to gambling. The faction of Puritans wanted gambling to be banned across the country. However, settlers from England were used to gaming houses and were tolerant of gambling. Therefore, the ban was to keep the peace for the factions that didn’t tolerate gambling. 

1930 – The Great Depression

Las Vegas, Nevada had an exponential growth after the Wall Street Crash in 1930. The Great Depression lead to the legalization of gambling and casinos in Nevada. There were casinos in the Las Vegas strip, but after the ban was lifted, the casinos’ growth on the strip. Gambling was lifted as a means to try and give the economy a boost. The strip is an excellent attraction for gamblers from all over the world.

Although casinos are legal in the state, there is much debate about the legalization of online casinos. It is a grey area because some states allow gambling while others do not. The improvement in technology plays a large role in online casinos. The other reason why local governments consider legalizing online casinos is the revenue income. Online casinos attract a lot of revenue from users; they also pay a significant amount of taxes.

1994 – The First Online Casinos

Microgaming is the first company that though of developing online casino games. At the time, it made no sense for a company to develop virtual casino games. The company is the leading developer for online casino games, including online slots. It is single-handedly the developer of 600+ online games that a lot of players enjoy playing. Currently, the online gaming industry is worth multibillion dollars, and there are hundreds of online casinos presently on the internet.

Microgaming, and Netent is the leading companies when it comes to developing online casino games. Playtech is the company that first had live dealer casinos that provide an excellent user experience for players. Many other companies are coming up into the online games developing business.

2020 – Mobile Gambling

After developing online betting games, more players prefer to play online casino games on mobile devices. The original online casino games required the player to have access to a desktop computer. Many gamblers want to keep on playing their online casino games on their devices. It is a convenient way for players to have access to their favorite games. 

The improvement of internet speeds has played a significant role in increasing players who want to play casino games on their portable devices. More companies are working to ensure online casino games have graphics compatible with mobile devices. The compatibility option makes it ideal for all the users who want to play multiple online casino games on their mobile devices.

How Far is the Legalization of Online Gambling?

The subject of online gambling is a tricky one when it comes to Americans. Not all Americans are on board with the legalization of online casinos in the USA. The first state to legalize online gambling was New Jersey in 2011, and the state is enjoying tax revenue from the industry. The gambling income for the state of New Jersey has gained a lot of interest. There are talks on the possibility of legalizing online casinos in other states.

Countries like Canada, New Zealand and the UK have enjoyed online gambling for years. The industry needs a lot of regulation to prevent fraud and identity theft. Also, the governments in those countries have reasonable regulations to allow companies to join the industry. The lenient regulations make it easy for new online casino companies to enter into the business. 

What is the Future of Online Casinos?

Online casinos are a business that has exponential growth. It is not possible to quantify the growth potential of the online casino business. Currently, mobile gaming is the next big thing when it comes to online casinos – there are also significant steps in the development of virtual reality in terms of gambling applications. The point is to try as much as possible to bring the online casino experience close to the virtual user. The move to mobile gaming for online casino games has seen an increase in subscribers for online casinos.

The virtual reality technology is a new development that allows a group of friends to play online games like you would deal on a table in a standard casino. You get to sit with your friends on a virtual table and play a poker game. You will have the opportunity to read facial expressions and the tales that give away other players. VR allows different players to hold a conversation during a virtual game. 

There is no way to predict the proper growth of the online casino gaming industry.  Compare to land based-casinos, online casinos can offer players more games and better odds. However there is still a lot of room for improvement in the online gaming industry. 

Our Thoughts

The evolution of casino games has come a long way from the invention of darts and cards. Most games from online casinos are not similar to the original versions of the games. For example, the card games that the Chinese invented have evolved into poker and other card games. The evolution of the games was fueled by the need to keep players in the casino long as possible. The evolution of the internet has played a significant role in the online gaming industry changes. 

More states in America are in deliberation about legalizing gambling. It means that you won’t have to travel to Las Vegas to have a good time with your friends. The fact that online games developers and software developers have made users information  safe and  secure. Means more and more people around the globe are comfortable joining online casinos and using online payment methods.

It also helps that governments and regulatory bodies provide certification for legitimate online casinos. The certificates come in handy when players are trying to identify the best online casinos to join. It also helps to tell apart genuine online casinos from fake ones that do not meet all the set-out requirements. For now, only time will tell how the online casino industry will change in America.
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