The history of Casinos
Many an adult has idled away their evenings in the casinos of the world.
Debauchery can still be found in the temptations offered by these
casinos. But when did this phenomenon begin? The actual beginning of
casinos is debated, however, the word casino comes from an Italian house
of pleasure. These houses provided a locale for sports and gambling, as
well as other prolific games for adults. Some historians say that some
form of gambling has existed since the time of the ancient Chinese.
The start of gambling is indeed the beginning, but what comes next?
Playing cards were invented by the French in the 14th century. Later, in
the 15th century, the first full deck appeared in Germany. The
evolution of the casino starts with these beginnings and ends with the
glitzy casinos of today in Monte Carlo and Las Vegas.
Early in the 16th century a form of roulette was being played in
France. Also appearing around that time was a favorite of today,
blackjack. In the 17th century, the first official casino opened its
doors; it appeared in Venice, Italy. This is a debatable fact; some say
the first casino appeared in Switzerland in the 18th century. By this
time gambling had become an obsessive pastime of the working class and
the very wealthy. Many an earl or prince lost fortunes at the gambling
With it’s explosive popularity, gambling appeared in the most
prominent of households. During the later portion of the 18th century
many celebrities and aristocrats were playing in mini-casinos. The
prolific Duchess of Devonshire, Georgiana Cavendish, was a well known
gambler who died very much in debt. Her household was a popular place
where, night after night, casino games could be played. Several types of
games would be played, especially games of chance. Faro and whist were
the two most popular.
A famous attendant of Georgiana’s household casino, as well as many
others, was the Prince of Wales, who would later become George IV of
England. He was also a well known debtor. He had been forced into
marriage just to pay off his gambling debts. Charles Fox, a Whig
parliament member, and close friend of Georgiana was also a lifelong
gambler at the Devonshire House casino. Georgiana’s friend Queen Marie
Antoinette of France was a high-stakes casino gambler as well. History
is littered with famous casino attendants.
In the United States, gambling started in saloons in several major
cities. Early in the 20th century, gambling was being banned in America.
Fortunately, in the thirties, Nevada helped change that. In the early
forties the El Rancho Vegas Hotel and Casino was opened on what is now
part of the illustrious Vegas Strip. These casinos incorporate slot
machines, jackpot games, and card games. Many are hotels, complete with
restaurants and even spas.
Many casinos now find their homes on the strip, but
many more can be found in other parts of the world. Famous places that
house casinos include, Monte Carlo in Monaco, Atlantic City in New
Jersey, Windsor in Canada, and Detroit in Michigan. Other, smaller-scale
casinos are to be found on Native American Reservations. Notable ones
include the Odawa Casino in Petsokey, Michigan and the Soaring Eagle in
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.
Gamblers since ancient times have filled their time and found their
fun in risking money on games of chance. The chance of coming out with a
fortune is too much of a temptation for many people. Over time, simple
games of chance developed into full-fledged casinos as resorts of play
for millions of pleasure seekers. One thing is certain; players should
beware the gaming tables, lest they lose their heads and fortunes!