Looking at the word “gambling” it implies a negative connotation that involves financial ruination and addiction. However, its meaning is just the tip of the iceberg, per se. Here, we look at the deeper end of the telescope to better understand its meaning.
‘Meaning’ of Gambling
The term, if it’s just about its shallow meaning, is simple to understand. Gambling is the staking of something valuable, preferably money, with the hope of gaining a profit. It could be betting on a game’s result, a contest, or simply playing on either a land-based or online platform like OKBet.
By betting, gamblers rely solely on their luck (sometimes with strategy). Games of chance involve a simple dice toss, a roulette wheel, or card games like poker or blackjack.
Brief History of Gambling
Truth be told, gambling has been prevalent since ancient times, about 3000 BCE. This leisure activity was even mentioned in the Bible, where the first form of wagering was by casting lots (or throwing knucklebones) to divide property.
Even during the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, where the Roman guards cast lots to pick the garments of the crucified Son of God. Although mentioned in all four of the Gospels, casting lots was not considered a form of gambling but rather a decision-maker.
The earliest evidence of betting activities was recorded from Ancient China, around 2300 BC, when the early Chinese had tiles, which are somewhat a part of a lottery game. There were also keno slips in about 200 BC believed to be used as a source of state works, possibly contributing to the building of the Great Wall of China.
A dice was even found in an Egyptian tomb, which was found to be from 3000 BC, though historians have proved that the Ancient Greeks and Romans loved dice games even if it was considered forbidden. The prohibition even led to the Romans inventing gambling chips to absolve themselves from the crime if apprehended.
In the 9th century, the first playing cards appeared in China. Meanwhile, it was in the 1400s when a card game known as Baccarat was invented in Italy. It is a two-player card game that proved alluring to Italians and later became popular in France.
Blackjack, on the other hand, did not exist until 1600. However, like all other gambling games, its origin was lost to history.
Italy, the Origin of Casinos
In the early 17th century, Italy founded the earliest gambling houses. Gaming establishments like Ridotto in Venice were a hub for controlled gambling amid the chaos brought by the carnival season.
It was in the 19th century when casinos became a thing and spread across Europe. Simultaneously, informal gambling houses in the United States were also established.
Life is a Gamble
To be honest, people have been gambling, and we have been doing it in our everyday lives. In essence, the way of life can be seen as a gamble.
Our choices, the paths we have taken, or our decisions all have no certainties, pretty much like a gamble. The human race is an expert in this so-called game of chance, especially after high school, at age 18.
For instance, in the Philippines, most Filipinos decide to work at a very young age due to poverty. Some were lucky enough to enter college for a better future, but success still depends on their school performance, learning, and wit.
It is much like gambling, but rather than money, you stake your future career and success by taking up a certain field and hope that it pans out and makes you rich. Similarly, life and playing games of chance are both trials and errors, wherein a person tries to learn from their mistakes and use the knowledge to succeed.
Life is all about risks
Betting is a risky action, and it has consequences. Thinking hard, life is also like that. We act and then deal with a subsequent result later.
Many want a particular outcome, which most people commonly expect. But life, like gambling, will not cave in and always give a person his desires. In a sense, we have been betting our lives to meet our dreams and aspirations and find success.
So why do we gamble?
Come to think of it, life is already a gamble that is full of surprises (and stress), so why do people squander their resources?
A simple answer is: to escape. Gambling is a form of entertainment meant to take a person away from real-world problems despite possibly leading to another problem. But while it is also a double-edged sword, it assigned a known value—a form of monetary reward—to somehow alleviate the pain it may create.
Yes, people perceived gambling as unfair, a sham, or any negative word, but to be fair, it adds spice to life. The path to financial ruination can be avoided if a gambler cautiously approaches this activity and just focuses on the joy it brings.
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