The Popularity Of Gambling in Ancient Cultures
Gambling goes back into the ancient times, there were ancient forms of gambling not Black Jack or Slot Machines that you see today. Mostly everyone in the Roman times gambled from nobility to regular citizens and even slaves liked to gamble and even play games. Like in many states today that do not allow gambling even in the ancient times, the Roman Government under the Emperor Augustus had laws against gambling. Gambling was only officially allowed on Saturnalia, which is a week long festival in the honor of the God Saturn. It was right before Christmas and during this holiday of sorts the slaves and the masters would switch places with each other and they would have gambling tables while the masters served them but the masters would also get a chance to gamble as well.
If gamblers were caught gambling during the year they may be fined for partaking in their favorite past time. Though in many places the laws were not enforced all that strongly in fact the Emperor Augustus was actually believed to be hooked on gambling. Most of Rome that did not seem to mind the gambling and it only became more popular. In later years the Emperors of Roman were allowed to be given games of chance. Some of these gamblers were Commodus and he used the imperial palace was used a casino and a whorehouse to help finance his bankrupt regime. There was also Nero and he would bet a huge amount of money, which at that time was called Sestertii (Roman Currency) with just one roll of the dice.
Even Caligula has noblemen arrested or even killed and their properties were seized and he would talk about these things at the gambling tables. Claudius was very fond of the dice games and even royalty could not get over how much people loved gambling. Men gambled in both there homes and in public gambling houses. Even back then poker chips were used as currency and some of the more popular games included a style of backgammon of Tabula, there would be a coin toss, dice throw or Tessarae. There was horse betting and gladiator bouts were very popular as well.
Just like gambling today, there was a lot of cheating and to support this fact, archeologists have found loaded dice back in the Pompeii's ruins. Then you have those who were considered experts in the games and there were on the way up through the ranks of social status faster than anyone else. Back then gambling was an all male rule. Women would play only during the Bona dea festival. This holiday was a ladies only which was perceived as an all girls night out which still exists today.
Gambling started out popular and it only continues to rise in popularity there are cities such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City that are more known for gambling than for anything else. Gambling started with the ancient times and may never end and that is fine with a lot of people.