Gambling has become one of the ultimate leisure activities that offers thrill and excitement. But gambling isn't a new-age pastime. From ancient dice games to modern brick-and-mortar casinos and the online casino, gambling was and is a beloved pastime for many people worldwide. It offers a delightful escape from the tedium of everyday life, becoming an essential leisure activity or a replacement for other leisure activities.
However, the rate of growth of the gaming industry in recent years is nothing short of remarkable. Over the last two decades, the gaming industry has gone through a transformation that is fueled by the internet and its power of connectivity. The evolution from traditional bookmakers to online casinos offering online poker, online slots, a whole host of online games and online betting for a wide range of sports, gambling is now able to cater to the ever-changing needs and desires of punters.
The impact of the evolution of gambling on society has been equally outstanding if not downright astonishing. Read on to see how gambling has shifted from offline to online, how it now occupies both spaces and its impact of gambling on society at large.
Evolution of Gambling
The Chinese were the first to record gambling practices in 2300 BC. But the origins of gambling reaches even farther back. How much farther? No one really knows. But various cultures, including Greek, Roman and Native American, embraced gambling as part of everyday life. While some cultures considered it pure entertainment, others used the game of chance to predict the future.
Lotteries became a hit during the Revolutionary War of the 1770s. By the 1790s, Harry Ogden, who operated out of the Newmarket Heath race course, revolutionized bookmaking and became the first person to make a profit-setting odds. He would carefully study the field and lay odds on each of the horses. At the time, only two standard options — to bet on the favorite or the field — were available to the people.
As time went on, all types of gambling were limited to the racetrack due to laws that prohibited public games of cards where money was at stake. It was in this light that brick-and-mortar bookies emerged in the mid-1800s and offered ways to bet on sports other than racing.
Then came the internet, about 129 years later, and changed society in ways that were unprecedented. Suddenly, people could remain in the comfort of their homes and play instead at live dealer online casinos. The first online casino opened up in the mid-1990s and in the early 2000s, they became a massive hit among gamblers and were seen as alternatives to the traditional brick-and-mortar casinos.
Online gambling has grown greatly from those early years, now offering a vast array of games and betting options to every player. The luxury of game options available means players are always catered for no matter their personal choice of game.
One surprising social impact of gambling is that games like live dealer games allow players to interact with players from other places and parts of the world in real time while playing the game.Does this mean traditional casinos are a dying breed? Definitely not. It simply means that players now have choices about when and where to play. The experience is part of the thrill after all. In fact, patronage is expected to continue to rise as a result of the influence of pop culture on casinos.
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