When Gambling Started

The exact date and origin of gambling is pretty much an unknown factor. It is said that the Chinese did however record the first official account of gambling back in 2300 BC.

Gambling I am sure we can agree has been seen in some form or another in almost all societies throughout history. Going back to Ancient Greeks, through to the Romans, French and England there has been written history filled with stories of entertainment which has in some way or another been based on games of chance.

On the European front, a gambling house went under the name of Ridotto¬†& Ridotto’ (Italian for “The Private Room”) is a wing of Venice’s San Mois√® Palace, established in Venice in 1638 and provided controlled gambling on a seasonal basis. Ridotto was open to the public, but due to the its high stakes and formal dress code, only nobles could afford to play at the casino tables.

Ridotto is known to have offered a lottery-like game in which players could place bets on one of 70 possibilities. An employee, the “banker,” would then draw a number from a bag, and anyone who had bet on that number would win the game’s pot. The game also featured a built-in T&C whereby a winning player could only collect 64 times his original bet, and at roughly a 1 percent chance of winning any given bet, this meant that the house enjoyed nearly a 10 percent of the pot.

In American history, early gambling establishments were known as saloons. The creation and importance of these saloons was influenced by four major cities; New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago and San Francisco.

Saloons provided travelers in particular a place to drink and gamble. Gambling became outlawed and banned by state legislation in the early 20th Century. In 1931 gambling was legalised throughout Navada , Las Vegas and Reno. In 1978 New Jersey allowed gambling in Atlantic City.

The biggest gambling market on the African continent is Southern Africa and although horse racing goes back many years, casinos have made their way to the font line. Having only been on the Continent for about the last 25 years there has been a rapid expansion of across all borders.

Casinos in South Africa, as we know them, had an interesting start as gambling proper was prohibited in the 1965 Gambling Act. Initially, two companies, Holiday Inn and Southern Sun (a subsidiary of South Africa Breweries) negotiated Casino contracts with Bantustan Government. Then in 1983, Mr Sol Kerzner, a former minority shareholder in Southern Sun Hotels, founded a new and dynamic company, Sun International. By the early 1990s, Sun possessed all 18 homeland licenses, after Mr. Kerzner and local leaders agreed to a high taxation on casino profits in return.

It was during this period that the leaders of the Transkei, Boprthutaswana, Ciskei and Venda legalised Casinos in their territories.

 

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