Gambling is a thing that entertain and delights us. We have a plethora of ways of doing it. From Live casinos to online ones. In 3d and VR. But what gave origin to this wonderful past time? Surely it comes from some place older than what we can even imagine. Get in your time machine and let’s go back to almost the dawn of time to discover the history of gambling.
Gambling With The Gods
History clearly shows us that gambling is as old as the hills. It can be seen in ancient writings throughout the world. Gambling has been encountered in every civilization and walk of live. From China to Rome, through the Jewish culture and the Islam culture. However, the first forms of gambling weren’t done for the user to get lots of money.
In many cultures throughout the world, marked stick – in some cases stones and in others, bones – were used by priests. These items would then through divinatory practices be cast into a bowl of sorts. The priest could apparently, through gazing at the stones, see if the gods favoured you a good fortune. Of course, it being ancient civilizations, good fortune did not always mean a lottery win. It could have been a big family as well. Many sons meant many hands to help the work.
Funding The Great Wall
One of the oldest references that we have comes to us from China at around 2300BC. There seems to be some form of lottery that has taken place, even as early as that. This lottery was made up of the drawing of tiles – as the tiles were found – but in the Book of Songs it talks of the drawing of sticks. There are clear writings that tells us that the drawing of sticks was related to a game of chance.
Baige Piao was a Chinese game that the much loved Keno is based on. Baige Piao is believed to be this early form of lottery. Archaeologists and historians have also uncovered Keno – or Baige Piao – slips (Lotto tickets) that date back to 200BC. This early form of the lottery was used to fund state projects whereby a portion of tickets sales went to the state. It is believed that is where the funding to build The Great of Wall of China, came from.
The Greek Gamble
In Greek mythology it is believed that Zeus, Hades and Poseidon took part in a game of dice to decide who gets to have rulership over which domains. Nothing could be older than the gods themselves enjoying a good gamble. The act of gamble also fell under the imperium of two of the Greek Gods, Hermes and Pan. Whether the philosophers liked gambling or not, the Gods seemed to be more than just okay with it.
Roman culture is rich with gambling references. The most well known and probably most loved was the shows, shows meaning blood and fighting, that was held at the Colosseum. People would come from far and wide to bet on their favourite gladiator. Some say that this is the earliest form of horse race betting, as the betting system worked pretty much the same.