Gambling is an ancient tradition. In fact, people were gambling in ancient times, although the “casinos” then looked very different from the ones we are used to today. And that’s if we’ve ever visited a physical casino. In recent decades, casino gambling, like so much else, has moved out of the real world and onto the web – from offline to online. But what has happened to casino culture in the process? How has it changed, and what are the benefits of playing online rather than in a real casino? Is it easier to win the big prizes? We delve into that in this article.
Gambling from ancient times to today
Today, you don’t need to have visited a physical casino to call yourself a bettor. Indeed, there are probably some professional bettors who have never set foot in a good old-fashioned gambling hall. But what does that term actually mean? To understand the journey of casino gambling from the physical world to the internet, it makes sense first to take a look at the history of gambling – it’s a long one.
Gambling – or betting, as it was long called – was popular as far back as ancient times. In ancient Rome and Greece, people entertained themselves by gambling on gladiator fights and horse chariot races. However, the earliest known form of gambling took place in China and Egypt, where people liked to play with dice for various prizes. In the Middle Ages, gambling grew even more widespread and was used at fairs, carnivals and other public events.
Even then, however, there were fears that gambling addiction could become a problem, and so betting was banned in public places in many places. As a result, gambling moved into people’s private homes. In a way, it was a counterpart to today’s trend of gambling at home in the company of one’s computer. However, as we all know, it was a long time before online gambling became a reality.
The first casino
The very first real casino was built in 1638 in Venice. The “Ridotto” was the name of this new amusement house, and a host of other Italian-style casinos soon followed it. Since then, countless casinos have sprung up all over the world, some in a similarly glamorous style, others as more modest “gambling dens”, as they are known from various provincial towns in this country. From the late 1800s, slot machines began to be developed in the United States. The first of these was called “The Liberty Bell” and was named after the Independence Bell in Philadelphia. It soon made its way to Europe and is still popular today.
Although casino gambling is now very much online activity, there are still plenty of traditional casinos around. Here you can go to play, socialize and have a fun evening or day, and many gamblers still prefer this “old-fashioned” style. But there are also a number of people for whom online gambling is a perfect fit. But what’s really the difference between going down to the local casino and switching on your computer, mobile or tablet when you’re in the betting corner?
It goes without saying: the big difference between offline and online gambling is the fact that in the “offline version,” you’re physically in a gambling hall, whereas when you play online, you can do so mutely alone and from your bed, sofa or wherever suits you. But there’s more to this obvious difference than meets the eye – of course, playing from your computer isn’t the same experience as doing so from a real casino.
Nevertheless, online betting has become hugely popular. Over the past three decades, the online betting offer has grown steadily.