The history of gambling and casinos
The legend says that luck is provided by the Gods, thus Zeus, Hades and Poseidon decided to split the Universe in Heaven, Hell and Sea by simply throwing the dices.
Gambling is considered to have existed since Antiquity, showing up in countries like China, Egypt or the Roman Empire. The Romans are very well known for their ability to bet on almost anything. A very popular example is their tradition of gladiator fights, where the Romans were betting on the winner. But they did not stop there, thus they even betted on Christ’s robe after he was crucified. Also, dices were found both in the ruins of the famous Pompeii city and in Egypt. A very interesting fact, that is not very well known, is that The Great Chinese Wall was built with funds that were gathered by the monarch after his Kendo games (the ancestor game of Bingo).
Moving further in time, France is considered to be the pioneer of this industry in Europe. They opened the first public lotteries, followed by private lotteries, which were founded by religious orders. The first versions of Blackjack were also first available in France. The first printed playing cards were registered in Germany in 1440.
Gambling was forbidden almost everywhere in the world at the end of the 19th century. This limitation did not last very long, as the restrictions have been lifted in 1930, when Nevada and Atlantic City started the big trend that we still embrace today.
The terminology “casino” has its roots in Italy and back then it meant a small house (“casini”) where the rich ones were gathering together to play and to meanwhile plan the future of the country. Not long afterwards, the casinos started to spread and grow rapidly due to the constant search of new ways of spending time.
When it comes to Romania, gambling was present since the 19th century. Even in times of communism, gambling was allowed, but under the very strict supervision of the government. Foreign investors introduced the casinos in our country starting from 1992. A monument that is symbolic for this new industry is the Casino of Constanța, where for many years big amounts of money were won but also lost.
A must-know fact about our country is its leading position in the gambling industry. The peak was registered between 1995 and 1997, when 10,000 gambling licenses were released. Therefore, based on population numbers, Bucharest was the third city in the world regarding this industry, after Las Vegas and Monte Carlo, with 17 opened locations.