Gambling in Ancient Rome

When you think about the gamble the mind immediately runs to modern online casinos, secure and professional platforms that allow players to spend some pleasant hours in a digital context of fun.

However, games of chance have a much more remote origin in time e, rather, it is not wrong to say that already in the classical era – and in ancient Rome in particular – there were houses that were direct forerunners of modern casinos.

What the ancients played?


Ancient dice (in bone)

evidently, to trace a common thread between ancient and contemporary games, it takes a while’ fantasy.

For instance, one of the most popular games of chance in Roman times was the by odd, equivalent to modern you seem to disappear.

A player hid small objects in his fist (usually peanuts or pebbles) and the opponent had to guess if the number was odd or even.

Those who watched the game could bet on the amount of items the player was holding.

The mechanism of the heads or ships, the new one heads or tails, while a little’ more complex was the functioning of the game of astragali, small cube-shaped bones on which the numbers were engraved.

The players had to guess the total for each throw, after the pitcher had spun them in fritilus, a cup that served to reassure bettors about the absence of fraud.

Anyway, the most popular game was probably that of become, the tickets: marked on six sides by numbers, they were thrown on a flat surface in an attempt to guess the outcome of the score.

Gambling in the Middle Ages

With the passing of the centuries gambling had alternating fortunes and various declinations.

In Middle Ages, for example, it was customary to spend time in the baratterie, places mostly indoors, in which money could be wagered on some games that are quite simple in their basic mechanism.

Up to this point, moreover, gambling did not have positive visibility.


Ancient “tavern”

In fact, it was practiced in not very refined places, those the losers in which the game alternated with prostitution being considered a place of ill repute, where fights and fraud were certainly not rare.

Things gradually changed in the second half of the Middle Ages, with the introduction of the aforementioned baratteries.

In these bit public, officially recognized and taxed by the authorities, you could play games with money in a lawful way.

In a second moment, their fate was very similar to that of the losers.

With the passing years, indeed, the barterers also ended up managing local prostitution and grew in influence and relevance to the point of becoming opposed by local lords, which in most cases opted for their definitive closure.

Anyway, in a lawful or clandestine manner, the Middle Ages was a period of diffusion of many games of chance.

Some of them were an evolution of those already encountered in the classical era, while others were typical inventions of this period.

As well as with dice, in the Middle Ages it was also often played with boards.

Probably the best known game in this area was the The Twelve Scriptures.

A platform created specifically for this game was used and each player was assigned either white or black pawns.

At this point the dice were rolled to understand how to move the pawns forward and thus be able to conquer those of the opposing player.

The first casino in Venice

However, if gambling has existed since ancient Rome, to witness the birth of the first real casinos we must wait until the 1600s and the Republic of Venice.

Right in the Serenissima, in 1638, the first gambling house arose, the Reduced from San Moisè, considered to date the first casino in the world.

From that moment on, the phenomenon of casino, or reduced, it quickly spread throughout the city.

These were small houses used as meeting places, in which the Venetians could play, dance and participate in other social events.

Following the example of Venice: the spread of casinos


Roulette, classic casino game

To get to the word "casino" that we use today, instead we have to move between the 1700 and the 1800.

In this century in fact, gambling houses became famous throughout Europe and some important realities, like the renowned Monte Carlo casino, they were born in this period, developing a decidedly more "modern" look, with lush buildings where the rich bourgeois gathered to gamble.

Overseas things took an extra couple of centuries to develop.

If the reader has ever watched a western, indeed, will certainly have the mental image of the “saloon” and cowboy sweaty and angry playing guns cards, belts and any pocket money.

This was in fact the base place: small bars and tavernas.

To see the first American casino we have to wait for the 1901, year in which a group of workers intent on laying railway tracks in Las Vegas faced the need to have a meeting place to play cards and relax.

Although the United States went to great lengths to curb and ban gambling and casinos, after the first three decades of the 1900s, clandestine gambling houses were now too many and too popular, especially a Las Vegas, forcing Nevada to legalize gambling and finally see the birth of the first resort dedicated to gambling: The Vegas Ranch.

The history of American casinos is then intertwined with that of “gangster” and organized crime, a phenomenon that has been eradicated by the large investments of companies that, from 1960 on, they converted more and more Las Vegas facilities into modern casinos.

Casinos in the modern era


Gambling online

The step from Venice to the rest of the world was not a short one, but I continue, so that, At bottom, today it is possible to find a casino in all the major cities of the world.

However, there has been a singular change brought about precisely by the change in perspective that gambling has undergone over time.

If in the past, betting money was an activity to be condemned and where the underworld always took most of the control by associating prostitution and illegality of various kinds, later it was the large companies that were concerned with creating spaces exclusively for gambling, legally.

If today a Montecarlo we find the original casino of 1863, both in the United States and in the Middle East and elsewhere the conception of the casino as a place to play is similar, but with very different shades and a unique story.

Let's take Macau for example, today a true temple of gambling modern.

It has undoubtedly suffered the influence of having been in the past (until the 1999) a Portuguese colony, the same people who created the famous casino Estoril in 1916.

To think that today Macau is a special administrative region of China, which prohibits online gambling, it is certainly curious!

About the consecration of online casinos finally, as a virtual meeting place for gambling enthusiasts, it will be there 1994 to mark the birth of the first software per il gambling online from Microgaming.

From Asia to Europe, up to the screens of our small provincial room, now playing online in a casino full of different types of bets is getting easier and easier, If we want, however there are the most famous buildings waiting for us!

Gambling today: the advent of the Internet and online casinos

The further evolution of casinos was therefore the dematerialization of the structures of game.

In fact, it is now possible to digitally enter a real casino without leaving home.

You open your own notebook o an'app on the tablet O smartphone and it's done.

But how does the legal sector?

After a few years of "Far West" (to stay on topic western) made up of online scams and little regulation, national licenses have largely replaced international ones.

In Italy, operators who intend to offer their remote gaming services to customers must obtain certification from theADM, l’authority national team that governs the game and that grants the license necessary to operate only if certain strict requirements are met.

online casinos

Online casino

Obtaining the certificate is a long and difficult process (it is expensive).

They do numerous checks they have, partly, solved the problem of payout falsified and unfair practices (at least some).

Until before the involvement of the ex-AAMS, indeed, the only source for knowing which casinos their players respected were the review sites.

To date, they still remain extremely important for reporting misconduct e, mostly, to extricate oneself from the sea of ​​names, offers and promotions, indicating which are the most advantageous and interesting.

Currently in Italy Only ADM licensed casinos are legal, although it is still possible to play on sites without the same, as long as you accept the risks.

ADM licenses are publicly available on the Agency's website.

Just enter the license number to verify its existence.

Who wants to try their luck?

There are realities such as Planetwin365 casino that, thanks to the continuous positive reviews in the years, garnered a large following and became a landmark of the gambling online.

Who knows what the first Venetians would do when they saw our world today, ostregheta! (photo:,,,, e