The First Casino — Then and Now

The First Casino brings to mind scenes from an old Clark Gable movie, where the hero is a riverboat gambler of ill repute, and the heroine a dance-hall girl with the proverbial heart of gold (or the local virginal book-worm type, whom Daddy left just enough money to tempt “the wrong man”). The First Casino also calls up memories of the bright lights and flashing neon of Las Vegas, complete with Elvis Presley gyrating to a room full of Rock-n-Roll femme fatales. The First Casino carries with it connotations of danger and of excitement; of passion and of romance; of nations won and families lost.

Gambling has always carried with it both a fascinating sense of the forbidden and a touch of true nostalgia. The History of the First Casino, long and full of twisted fate, carries with it a great deal of each.

Gambling in America and the First Casino

The First Casino aside, gambling in America is older than the government, and just as wide-spread. Americans gamble on everything — tossing a coin to see who receives the kick in the football game, rolling a die to see who will inherit (still legal in some states), using a lottery to determine who will be drafted. Long before the First Casino was built, and during eras when casinos were outlawed, gambling continued to be part of the National Pastime and the National Economy of the United States of America.

The First Casino in Ancient History

Long before the building of the first casino, Witch Doctors, Egyptian Pharaohs, Biblical Prophets, and American Indians used chance — and the roll of dice or bones or stones — to determine the fates of their people. The claim to the First Casino is shared by both the Nile Delta and in the Ancient Far East, where gaming houses existed even before the written word. Betting on arena sports, animal races, and other popular pastimes were common in China, India, Persia, Mongolia. In fact, every Empire — from the Sea People to theRomans to the USSR — has had gambling as an integral part of their culture.

Later, in the western world, the casini became the first casino houses. In the early 1700’s, casini (meaning “little house” in Italian) were the rave of the Mediterranean Coast — a place for rich Venice merchants to meet and trade. These were the first gaming — first gambling casino — houses in Europe.

The First Casino in America

Most casino gambling games came up the river from the Deep South before the War Between the States. French, English, Spanish, and Irish immigrants brought with them games of chance and a desire to spread the wealth through games. In a sense, the First Casino in America was a large parlor on the Mississippi.

Arguably, the first casino on land was Brown’s Saloon (on the corner of Wyoming, Colorado and Utah), which opened for the entertainment of the western trappers in 1822. As fast as the horses could race West, the first casinos followed, ready to help a man lose what he had found in gold — or gain what he had lost.

Of course, Las Vegas is synonymous with Casino, and was the first state to legalize casino-style gambling in 1931 after the temperance league had sent all such sinful vices underground. The El Rancho Vegas Hotel-Casino became, in 1941, the first casino in Las Vegas.

First Casino on the Web

It was inevitable that one of the world’s oldest and richest pastimes would find its way into the ether. As with the ancient civilizations, the founding of the New World, and the expansion of the West, the creation of the Internet was followed quickly by the arrival of Internet casinos. First the infrastructure had to be laid: a sufficient number of people who could access the Web, and an online banking system that could handle the money transfers. Then Microgaming developed the Internet casino software, and First Web Casino and a few others became the First Casinos On The Web. After that, the Internet casinos took off like wildfire.

From 2000 B.C.E. to 2000 C.E. the nature of “First Casino” has changed. As man moves from continent to continent, and from one technology to the next, each era has a “First Casino” of its own. In the not-too-distant future, there will be, no doubt, a First Casino In Space — something like Quark’s or a club in Xanth — where we will be able to teleport in and play our favorite Interplanetary casino games. Until that time arrives, you can enjoy playing the Internet casino games right here at First Web Casino.