Gambling History: How Far Back Do Gambling Games Go? Possibly With the Egyptian Pharaohs

At what period in history did people start to gamble? The exact period is unknown but believe it or not, pairs of dice have been found in Egyptian tombs over 4,000 years old! Also, gambling games were played in ancient China, where Poker is thought to have originated. In 1492 during the Columbus landing, Native Americans were sports betting on the outcome of a game resembling LaCross. So when did it all start in America? Read on.

Early America

Gambling in America started with the first English settlers in the 1600′s. Their traditions included card games that were part of the aristocratic lifestyle. However, when Puritans colonized in Massachusetts Bay they had the freedom to create their own culture which included hostility towards gambling. They outlawed the possession of dice, cards, and gambling table games in their communities. Nevertheless, gambling prevailed in other localities. Many English colonists considered gambling to be a suitable form of entertainment.

The Revolution

The colony of Virginia was the first to realize that lotteries could raise capital for local governments. Eventually all 13 colonies were raising lottery revenue. Proceeds helped build Universities like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Lotteries also funded churches and libraries. Founding Fathers George Washington, Ben Franklin, and John Hancock were promoters of specific lotteries for public works projects. When the Revolutionary War started, the Continental Congress voted for a $10 million lottery to finance the war.

Westward Ho

During the early 1800′s the taverns and road houses allowed dice and card games, creating the first version of casinos. As America’s population began to increase, casinos became more lavish. The Mississippi River was a major trade route where merchants and entrepreneurs brought their cash. Gambling on riverboats became a favorite pastime and New Orleans became the gambling capitol of America. In 1849 gambling followed the pioneers to California during the gold rush. Gambling establishments began to flourish there and west of the Mississippi, including Nevada. In the late 1800′s Roulette was adopted from France and the Slot Machine was invented.

Much of the public viewed gambling as a social ill because it was linked to alcoholism and prostitution. Reformers convinced jurisdictions to shut down the Dens of Iniquity. Most states discontinued lotteries as well. Riverboat gambling dried up with the advent of the railroad. By the end of the century only Nevada allowed gambling.

20th Century

In 1910 Nevada finally shut the door on gambling, which left horse race wagering the only legal entity in America. In 1912 Arizona and New Mexico were granted statehood under the condition that gambling remain outlawed. During the 1920′s prohibition era, the public’s thirst for gambling matched that of alcohol. Casinos went underground along with the speakeasys. In 1931 Nevada legalized gambling again and remained the only state to do so until the latter half of the century. Gambling flourished underground as organized crime made heavy investments in Nevada, and prospered by controlling off track betting and the numbers lottery.

During the 1950′s the U.S. Senate investigated organized crime’s link to illegal gambling. Eventually the mob departed Las Vegas. States put bookies out of business by legalizing off track betting and numbers games. Atlantic City approved gambling in 1976, the Indian Gaming Act was approved by congress in the late 1980′s. Dockside riverboat gambling made a comeback, racetracks installed slot machines while Las Vegas reinvented itself by building mega resorts during the 1990′s.

Century 21

The American Gaming Association reported that there are 832,988 slot machines spread out over 1,151 casinos and racetracks across 44 states with more on the way. It appears that the American culture’s thirst for gambling matches that of the Egyptian Pharaohs! America has embraced gambling as an acceptable form of entertainment.

You Can Stop Your Compulsive Gambling Addiction

It’s New Years Day January 1, 2006 and another year has come and gone. People from all over the world celebrated on New Years Eve. As the clock approached midnight last minute resolutions were made for the upcoming year. The most common resolutions are to lose weight and or stop smoking. This year’s newest resolution for quite a few people is to no longer gamble in 2006. With all the creative advertising, gambling shows on cable networks and the significant growth of Casinos people from all walks of life have been exposed. Through this exposure quite a few have developed a compulsive gambling addiction.

Now that people have made their resolutions, how do they achieve success? When it comes to gambling addiction it’s time to create a plan in order to achieve success. This can be easy if you take the time to find the appropriate program that will give you the support and guidance.

As you set your plan in place your subconscious mind begins to play tricks with you. The following are some thoughts that stop gamblers from beating their addiction:

1) Do I really want to stop my gambling addiction?

2) I really didn’t lose much money last year so I really don’t have to stop gambling

3) I want to stop gambling but I don’t know how.

4) I have the day off maybe I should gamble just one more time then stop.

5) What am I going to do for fun without gambling?

6) Okay I am ready to stop gambling but my friends are going to the Casino tonight. Maybe I can go just one more time.

7) I have so many bills due. How am I going to pay for them if I don’t gamble?

8) Maybe I will stop gambling when my wife stops gambling.

9) Do I really have a problem gambling?

10) I don’t have a problem gambling.

It’s time to face reality and deal with your compulsive gambling addiction head on. You can stop gambling. There are many helpful stop gambling addiction websites that will give you the resources and the tools to succeed. There is no reason you can not stop your gambling addiction. Taking the time to face what’s really going on with your life and forming a plan of action will help you to succeed in your quest to stop your gambling addiction.

There are so many people who have overcome their gambling addiction. They are also in disbelief because they never thought they could really stop. I am sure a majority of compulsive gamblers feel this way. The one thing they all have in common is their new positive outlook on life. Their self destructive behavior is gone. If you are a compulsive gambler or you know someone who has a compulsive gambling addiction there is help and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

There are plenty of good stop gambling addiction websites that can put you in the right direction. Please always feel free to email me.

Mr. Howard Keith has an extensive background in dealing with compulsive gamblers, relatives and friends of gamblers and teenage gamblers. Mr. Keith believes there are many alternatives to aid in the recovery of a gambling addiction verses a twelve step program. A large percentage of his emails were from compulsive gamblers looking for an alternative to Gamblers Anonymous and twelve step programs.

Politicians Want to Protect us From the Evils of On-Line Gambling Part 1

This is part 1 of a multipart series of articles regarding proposed anti-gambling legislation. In this article I discuss the proposed legislation, what the politicians say it does, some facts about the current state of online gambling, and what the bills really propose.

The legislators are trying to protect us from something, or are they? The whole thing seems a little confusing to say the least.

The House, and the Senate, are once again considering the issue of “Online Gambling”. Bills have been submitted by Congressmen Goodlatte and Leach, and also by Senator Kyl.

The bill being put forward by Rep. Goodlatte has the stated intention of updating the Wire Act to outlaw all forms of online gambling, to make it illegal for a gambling business to accept credit and electronic transfers, and to force ISPs and Common Carriers to block access to gambling related sites at the request of law enforcement.

Just as does Rep. Goodlatte, Sen. Kyl, in his bill, Prohibition on Funding of Unlawful Internet Gambling, makes it illegal for gambling businesses to accept credit cards, electronic transfers, checks and other forms of payment, but his bill does not address the placement of bets.

The bill submitted by Rep. Leach, The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, is basically a copy of the bill submitted by Sen. Kyl. It focuses on preventing gambling businesses from accepting credit cards, electronic transfers, checks, and other payments, and like the Kyl bill makes no changes to what is currently legal.

According to Rep. Goodlatte “While gambling is currently illegal in the United States unless regulated by the states, the development of the Internet has made gambling easily accessible. It is common for illegal gambling businesses to operate freely until law enforcement finds and stops them.”

In fact, American courts have determined that the Wire Act makes only Sports Betting illegal, and even then only across telephone lines. Very few states have laws that make online gambling illegal, some states and Tribes have taken steps to legalize online gambling, and even the Federal government recognizes some forms of online gambling as being legal.

Goodlatte himself says his bill “cracks down on illegal gambling by updating the Wire Act to cover all forms of interstate gambling and account for new technologies. Under current federal law, it is unclear whether using the Internet to operate a gambling business is illegal”.

Goodlatte’s bill however does not “cover all forms of interstate gambling” as he claims, but instead carves out exemptions for several forms of online gambling such as state lotteries, bets on horse racing, and fantasy sports. Even then, his modifications to the Wire Act do not make online gambling illegal, they make it illegal for a gambling business to accept online bets where a person risks something of value “upon the outcome of a contest of others, a sporting event, or a game predominantly subject to chance”, except of course if it is a state lottery, horse race, fantasy sports, or one of a few other situations.

The truth of the matter is that most online gambling businesses have located in other countries specifically to avoid the gray area that is the current state of online gambling in the US. As a result, there is little that law enforcement can do to enforce these laws. Trying to make the laws tougher, and providing for stiffer penalties, will not make them easier to enforce.

As well, most, if not all, banks and credit card companies refuse to transfer money to an online gambling business now, as a result of pressure from the federal government. As a result, alternative payment systems sprang up to fill the void.

Senator Kyl is equally misleading in his statements. From his proposed bill, “Internet gambling is primarily funded through personal use of payment system instruments, credit cards, and wire transfers.” But as we already know, most credit cards in the U.S. refuse attempts to fund a gambling account.

Also from the Kyl bill, “Internet gambling is a growing cause of debt collection problems for insured depository institutions and the consumer credit industry.” If the credit card companies and other financial institutions in the U.S are not allowing the funding of gambling, how can it be “a growing cause of debt collection problems”. And since when do we need legislation in order for the financial industry to protect itself from high risk debt. If the financial industry was accepting gambling debts and these gambling charges were a problem for them, wouldn’t they just stop accepting them?

Like Rep. Gooddlatte, Rep. Leach and Senator Kyl carve out exemptions for betting on horse racing, for fantasy sports and for buying and selling securities. Unlike Rep. Goodlatte however, Rep. Leach and Sen. Kyl do not exempt state lotteries from their prohibition of online gambling.

In the next article, I will begin to cover some of the issues raised by politicians who are against online gambling, and provide a different perspective to their rhetoric.