The history of humankind is very closely linked to that of gambling history. There is much evidence which suggests that gambling existed in ancient times. In fact, tiles found in China are believed to date back as far as 2300 BC, as well as ivory dice dating from 1500 BC, which were found in Egypt. From these relics, it is clear that gambling is virtually as old as civilization itself. There is also a lot of evidence to support the Romans love of gambling, however, instead of going through all the history, which could very well take an entire website, we decided just to give you a brief outlook at the history of gambling.

ancient history gambling evidence


While it is believed that gambling existed as far back as the dawn of human history, the earliest reputed evidence of gambling dates to Ancient China. Tiles have been dug up, which are believed to have been used in a game of chance. Also in China, there is ample evidence to support a form of lottery system dating to about 200 BC, which was used to help fund the construction of the Great Wall of China. It is believed this lottery system was very similar to modern times keno.

It is also firmly noted that the Greek poet Sophocles made mention of dice being played during the siege of Troy. These are the first mention of dice in human written history and date to around 500 BC. It is believed that dice are actually much much older than this, however, as a pair of dice was found in an Egyptian tomb, which is believed to date to 3000 BC. This would suggest that gambling truly has been around as long as humans have walked the earth.

Earliest Gambling History Examples


The other most recognizable form of gambling besides dice would be a deck of playing cards. Most historians agree that the first set of cards appeared in China during the 9th Century. Some believe playing cards were introduced as a sort of paper form of dominos, however, these claims are unverified.



The first forms of modern casino games that can still be played at casinos around the world and online appear to be that of Baccarat and Blackjack. Baccarat is said to originate from the 1400s in Italy as a game enjoyed by the nobility. Blackjack is said to originate a little later and seems to take its roots from a Spanish game called Ventiuna, which means 21. The actual name Blackjack only came into circulation when the game arrived in America in the late 1930s.

The earliest examples of modern casinos appeared in Italy in the 17th Century. The Ridotto was established in Venice in the year 1638 with the intention of providing the populace a controlled gambling area during carnival times. Casinos then followed suit and sprung up all over Europe in the 19th Century.

Roulette soon followed and is believed to originate in the gambling halls of Paris. Two differing versions existed, the American version which closely resembles the original, and the European which was adopted by the famous Monte Carlo Casino, and is now the most widespread. The American version makes use of two green zeros, and the European just one. The European is much more popular as players have greater odds of winning.



The next major development in gambling occurred in 1891 when inventors Sittman and Pitt created the first slot machine. This actually coincided with Charles Fey’s slot machine invention called Liberty Bell. Liberty Bell proved more practical and easy to regulate and started the real era of the slot machine. It wasn’t long before bars and casinos around the world featured “one-armed bandits”. The first video poker slot was invented in 1976 which paved the way for modern slot machines and online slots casinos.


Liberty bell slot machine invented



With the invention of the internet, it wouldn’t take long before one could gamble online. Sure enough, the world’s first virtual casino was brought to us in 1994. Microgaming is considered one of the pioneers of online casino gaming software, and are still one of the leading game’s developers today. Online gaming absolutely exploded, and within 5 years was worth over a billion dollars. Playtech brought us the next evolution of gambling with live dealer casinos in 2003. This is seen as a hybrid of traditional, physical casinos and online casinos.

The final and most recent development in gambling history are that gambling has officially gone mobile! It really is not surprising that all forms of gambling can now fully be enjoyed on mobile devices, seeing as people are completely attached to their mobiles. All the top online casinos offer full mobile support, and now people can finally enjoy gambling anywhere in the world today.