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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 tables.

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!

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