History Of Gambling In The USA

Gambling has been one of the oldest pastimes known to man, with references to it found even in the ancient civilizations. A number of the gambling games you see in casinos today have been around for hundreds of years. In the United States too, gambling has a long and colorful history.

The United States presents an interesting case when it comes to gambling history; for a long time, the country has had gambling in both legal as well as illegal forms. In this article, we will discuss briefly the History Of Gambling In The USA, a country where gambling has seen both prohibitive as well as permissive phases over time.

Today, there is a new trend that USA Players use, to get their gamble on. More and more, people are using USA online casinos, to get their fix. They offer everything that traditional land based casinos offer, plus many other perks.

Gambling in the United States – The Early Days
Gambling existed in the United States in the time of the early colonies, between the 17th and 19th centuries. In those early days, there were two different attitudes towards gambling, thanks primarily to the two major groups that the early settlers were segregated into. The two groups of settlers were the Puritans and the English.

The English carried with them the traditions and beliefs they followed when in England, while the Puritans were a slightly different lot. Though from England as well, the Puritan outlook was to do away with the values they followed in England, with the intention of creating a society that was better than what they had in England. Their idea was to live a life based on their beliefs, something that manifested itself in their attitude towards gambling as well.

Puritan attitudes different slightly in different parts of the United States. So it was that while New England and Pennsylvania harbored ‘Puritan attitudes’ towards gaming, the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay Colony decided to ban all forms of gambling, as well as card decks, dice, and also gaming tables. They took it a step further and banned singing and dancing as well. They eased up a bit though, doing away only with gambling as a profession, meaning that gambling for fun was allowed.

However, in colonies with the English, gambling was looked upon the way it was in England, as an activity that did not really warrant banning. In these settlements, both legal as well as illegal forms of gambling could be found. Any gambling activity that was considered fit for a gentleman was deemed legal, while everything else was deemed illegal. 

Gambling in the United States – Lotteries to the Rescue
One of the legal facets of gambling that sprung up in the United States in the early days was the lottery. This definitely impacted the History Of Gambling In The USA. Many times, lotteries actually were the money-spinners in the different colonies, as the money generated by the lotteries was used to fund the different activities in the colonies.

All the 13 colonies had their own lotteries in those times, with some having more than one. The object of having the lottery was to raise money for the different activities in the colonies, and residents of the colonies participated in the lotteries. In fact, some of the reputed universities in the country were set up with money collected through lotteries, including Harvard and Yale, among others.

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