Gambling is something that civilizations all over the world have done forever. Some 40,000 years ago, people were playing a form of dice. In the 14th and 15th centuries, evidence was found that Native American populations played games of gambling. Gambling sticks in Aboriginal nations are dated as being some 6,000 years old. Clearly, gambling is something that we, as humans, do. Today, the gambling industry is very important in the United States, such as in the Bicycle Hotel and Casino. For instance, in 2004, the gambling industry generated around $73 billion.
How Societies Views Have Changed the World of Gambling
It seems that, as a society, we love to gamble. Yet, at the same time, we see it as something that is wrong to do. This is demonstrated in the fact that gambling has been legislated, with harsh penalties, everywhere from Ancient China to modern-day Canada. Yet, how people view gambling has changed significantly.
Gambling is interesting because it is exciting and glamorous. Sophisticated, rich people would engage in it. But at the same time, it was linked to organized crime, loose morals, and even the Devil. Gambling is directly linked to each accepted form of excess. This is what makes it both attractive and repulsive. However, it still seems as if society has gone through some transformation in terms of how they see it. Specifically, it was first seen as a sin, resulting in gambling being prohibited. Then it was seen as a vice, meaning that there was some grudging acceptance, but it had to remain geographically isolated. Today, it is seen as entertaining, with active promotion of gambling across societies.
The 1950s were the true ‘Las Vegas era’. This was the time of Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, and Rat Pack Frank Sinatra. Yet, during their days, the only places you could go to gamble, at least legally, was in destination resort centers. Today, however, it is an accepted, widespread, and heavily promoted form of adult entertainment.
The Role of Technology
Today, you cannot switch the television on or go to a website without seeing some sort of advertisement for gambling. This can be anything from online slot machines to the opportunity to bet on political outcomes. There are even television networks dedicated completely to gambling! It is also believed that some 100 million people in this country play Poker today, standing at just 50 million in 2014.
We are also all mobile, and our mobile phones now have gambling apps. Blackjack is particularly popular. Interactive options also exist, and the United Kingdom seems to be particularly susceptible to this. It is believed that television gambling brings in between an estimated £2.8 billion per year.
There is a fear associated with online gambling. Thousands of such websites now exist, most of those located in Caribbean island, where creating such websites is not just legal, but even government sponsored. While they are illegal in many other countries, the internet is open, which means those who want to gamble have the opportunity to do so.