Sunday, 1 Oct 2023

A Brief History of the Word Casino

A Brief History of the Word Casino

The term casino in the context of a place of gambling has only come into use relatively recently. Before then places where people got together for games of chance could possibly have existed under a variety of names.

Humanity generally underestimates past cultures when it comes to how many modern behaviours we see among them. Games in general have been around since the damn of modern history and the likely hood that competitive individuals or shrewd business men would create some kind of business around games of change is very high indeed, given human ingenuity.

That said let’s consider our modern definition of the term casino. How did it come about and when did the first casinos actually pop up and develop into offering the games like the online blackjack Canada has to offer now?

The Origins Of The Word

The word casino finds its roots in the Italian word for house, casa. This term referred to various sized residences including spaces where social activities were held. Soon the term began to refer to all public buildings, sometime around the 19th century. Today however the term casino is a dirty word in Italy, literally, it is used to refer to a bordello.

In many places around the world there are casinos not known for any gambling activity at all. Examples include the Catalina Casino, the Hanko Casino, The Copenhagen Casino and many others.

The Rise Of Gambling Houses

While gambling houses existed in ancient Japan, in Rome and other places, our modern definition of casino was first built in Venice in 1683, these buildings were called Ridottos.

These buildings provided legal gambling venues during carnival seasons. These buildings were soon closed a few years later due to the fact that these buildings were bankrupting the local nobles with their out of control gambling habits.

The Role Of American Saloons

America played a large role in forming the outlines of the modern casino with their gambling saloons which would offer customers a variety of gambling related activities that pundits could take part in. These saloons are where many modern card and table games developed.

The gambling towns of New Orleans, St Louis, Chicago and San Francisco where the hub for gamblers as well as travellers, merchants and more. The Saloons served many functions to the public other than just gambling. During the early 20th century the US made gambling illegal until around the 1930’s when Nevada legalised gambling and the rest as they say is history.

Today casinos have become almost ethereal as more and more gamblers move to online gaming. Free from the restrictions of land based casinos, online casinos are the natural next progression for the industry. For the first time in history players can have hundreds of years of gambling at their fingertips in an instant.

It is amazing to think how we have compiled hundreds of cumulative years of gambling into the modern online casino. Being able to access hundreds of games with many rule variations shows just how far we have come.