The History of Gambling

Many new gamblers are not aware of the history of gambling. But they do know that it exists for almost hundreds of years. When it comes to gambling, historians believe that it is inseparably linked to the history of humanity.

From Ancient China, Greek, Egypt, and Roman history, evidence shows that our ancestors love to gamble. In addition, no matter how far we go back in time, there are signs that when people gathered – gambling surely has been taking place.

What is Gambling?

Gambling is the practice or art of wagering cash or anything that has value. And the stake is done with the intention of winning money. And there are times that stakes are in terms of goods. Nevertheless, it also depends on the outcome of a specific event. Sports betting is another form of gambling that people enjoy.

Brief History of Gambling – The First Manifestations

The history of gambling dates back to the Palaeolithic period. Wherein, Archaeologists found the first-ever recorded evidence of tiles – 6-sided dice. Moreover, it has a resemblance to a game of chance which is dated 2300 BC. The drawing of wood (Drawing straws today) shows evidence that describes that game. In addition, dice have been found in Egyptian tombs. However, there is no clear evidence of when it has been used for gambling.

What is the history of gambling in Asia?

With the recent rise of different gambling options for Asians, it is safe to say that it is widespread. And gambling is a very popular hobby along the continent. The history of gambling in Asia, as mentioned earlier pre-dates to the first millennium in China. Chinese people started wagering on different unearthed tiles during the 2300s B.C. The influence of the Chinese in gambling has spread due to their nature of trading. This has been prominent in other East Asian cultures such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, and many more. It started as a part of culture and tradition but eventually became a fast-growing industry and a new and immerging market in the region.

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What are the influences of gambling in Asia?

History of Gambling in China

History of Gambling in China

China probably has the longest-standing relationship with gambling. Chinese gamblers have been playing a wide variety of games from the mid of 1800s up to the early 1900s.

Historians believe the first-ever playing cards originated in China during the 9th century. They also agreed that the exact rules of playing cards are established during that time. However, these rules are no longer applicable today. Historians believe that these rules are lost to the history.

Historians also believe that Keno originates in the Chinese game named “Baige Piao”. And because of the discovered “Keno Slips”, they presume that it is used to fund government projects. 

In 1847, the Portugal government in Macau has legalized betting. Thus, results in the booming industry of gambling. But this eventually ends when the communists rule in the civil war. And prohibits all commercial gambling activities in the country.

History of Gambling in Singapore

History of Gambling in Singapore

The history of gambling in Singapore dates back to colonial times. Wherein the nation practices gaming and cockfighting as an early form of gambling. It is also the government’s main source of income during that time.

In 1923, gambling has been legalized under the British government. Nevertheless, the legalization does not last for long and the government takes it back. Because the delinquency problems and gambling addictions among the society improve. During this period, the government restricts any gambling activities. However, lotteries and horseracing are exempted from the rule.

History of casino in Singapore

In 2005, a breakthrough in gambling was recorded. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the government’s decision of building an “Integrated Resort”. This resort is an entertainment complex comprised of two objects in the southern area of the country on the island of Sentosa.

In February 2010, Casino Resorts World Sentosa was opened. And it turns out to be a great version of Las Vegas Sands. While the Casino Marina Bay Sands was opened to the public in April 2010.

History of Gambling in Thailand

History of Gambling in Thailand

Gambling will always be associated with Thai society. The country participated in more than 100 well-known types of gambling. From bullfights, cockfights, and up to boat racing, Siamese people naturally bets on pretty much anything.

At the end of the 19th century, there is a significant increase in the level of gambling in the country. Siamese people gamble in a wide variety of games introduced by foreigners. By then, gambling has become mainstream in the country. Also, during that time, the Huai lottery becomes popular in Thailand.

For decades, the Thai government allows legal gambling dens. Gambling becomes a source of income for the government during the reign of King Rama III. And widely promotes legal gambling brothels. Later on, these gambling dens were closed to weaken criminal activities. Thus, gambling becomes banned in the South, and on April 1, 1917, dens and establishments are closed.

Lotteries that were brought over 2 decades ago. And during King Rama V’s reign, the lottery concept was approved by the nation’s leading monarch. To this day, the lottery remains to be the only legal form of gambling allowed in the country.

In 1930, the law about gambling is first established. The government legalized gambling in the Pranburi District. However, it does not take long. Gambling was banned again because of media attacks and public opinion.

History of Gambling in Malaysia

History of Gambling in Malaysia

The history of gambling started at the beginning of the 19th century. With the immigration of Chinese settlers and merchants, gambling has been practiced in the country.

In colonial times, horse racing was first introduced under British influence. And the pillar of all gambling activities is within the Malaysian Gambling Act of 1953. With the initiative of the Genting Group, they build the first and only legal casino in the country. Furthermore, year1971 is the official opening of Casino de Genting. Later on, it moves to different locations. On November 26, 2004, the Gentling Highlights Resort finally found its place in the First World Hotel.


History of Gambling in Vietnam

History of Gambling in Vietnam

Chinese immigrants and Huahui dominate the gambling scene in the old Saigon. Nevertheless, in the 1970s and 1980s, the communist authorities regarded gambling as an unacceptable capitalist pursuit. Gambling is widespread in the country although it remains tightly restricted. Wherein, millions of dollars often change hands during football matches. However, during the middle of year 2000, the country’s sports betting market booms. And it estimated to be worth about $1 billion a year.

The Vietnamese government allows lottery. However, the betting is only limited to the state-run lottery. Today, So de (playing the numbers) remains to be part of the Vietnamese culture and history.

In the year 2017, the gambling regulations in the country have been relaxed. Moreover, the government allows local Vietnamese to wager at some casinos issued by competent authorities. However, the players should be at the legal gambling age of 21 or older. Online gambling is illegal in the country. Furthermore, those caught engaging in any illegal forms need to pay a fine.  Likewise, this can get much restricted depending on the seriousness of the offense.

History of Gambling in the Philippines

In the Philippines, gambling is not considered a sin by the government. Although, the government laws generally restrict gambling government laws. There are also no laws prohibiting online gambling in the country. While jueteng and masiao are illegal in the Philippines. The country houses many gambling establishments and resort casinos.

Brief History of Gambling in Japan

Gambling believes to originate in the country during the 8th century. Japanese loves playing a game similar to the backgammon we play today. Although, gambling stops during the 13th century. Despite this, wagering activities continue to occur in the country. The government legally accepts horse betting, sports betting, and Pachinko.

Asia – World’s Largest Gambling Market

The history of gambling in Asia comes a long way. Additionally, the Asian culture has no stigma against betting. That is why the continent is rapidly becoming the largest gambling market in the world today. Aside from living casinos, online casinos are also pulling a large number of gamblers around the world.

Although not all Asian countries are embracing gambling activities, they also view gambling in a favorable light. The government is becoming more flexible and relax when it comes to betting activities.

The Arrival of Mobile Gambling

Today gambling operators are embracing the advancement of technology. What is more, mobile gaming surely opens many opportunities for people to enjoy gambling.

Final Say:

The gambling history of  Asia is one of the most diversified around the world. Besides, historians believe that it mostly evolves in China. Moreover, because of Chinese merchants, games originated from them spread all over the world. Even so, it is safe to say that they are the number one practitioners and promoters of this hobby in the world. With the Asian revenue in gambling rising, we cannot tell how it will progress from here, but its influences, culture, and traditions are to live on for generations to come.

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