According to Webster's Dictionary, gambling is "the act of playing for stakes in the hope of winning (including the payment of a price for a chance to win a prize)". Gambling is an activity that is one of the oldest known pursuits of mankind. Dice-like objects made from the ankle bone of a sheep or dog were found dating back 40,000 years to the earliest cavemen.

Further evidence has been found in cave drawings depicting gambling, and dice have even appeared in the ruins of Pompeii dating back to 79 AD, with some appearing to be loaded.

Gambling History from all Around the World

From tiles found in China, ivory dice in Egypt, to gambling paraphernalia belonging to Bronze Age Greeks soldiers, the origins of gaming seem to be as ubiquitous as the modern gambling world itself.

Gambling in the old days was recognizably different from our trips to Las Vegas and the wide variety of games. Instead of chips items were used such as rocks, sticks and bones, up until the 9th Century AD when there is evidence of the first set of playing cards being used in China. Cards moved to Mahjong tiles, with dominos appearing later on, and ultimately in the 14th century Europe the 52-card deck became standard.

Modern Day Gambling

The late 1800s marked the arrival of the first slot machine, with three spinning wheels and five symbols. These traditional machines quickly gained popularity, and by the 1900s were being mass produced. Gambling had moved out of saloons and bars and moved into brick-and-mortar casinos, which expanded their range of games and ultimately turned into the multi-billion dollar business they are today.

Online Gambling

In the early 1990s, the first software was developed that brought gambling out of the bricks and mortar casinos and into the online arena. Mobile casinos got their start in 1994 with an offering of eighteen online casino games, as a result of Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean being the first countries to set out free trade agreements for this online industry.

Since then the industry has grown at an unstoppable rate, and online gambling is expected to generate $50.65 billion dollars just this year. Although online gambling has been frowned upon by several governments and at times been made illegal, the future for gambling and mobile casinos is bright, and the virtual industry is on the rise.