Contrary to what most people believe, gambling did not originate in the US; in fact it was prevalent in several foreign countries and eventually found its way to America. Gambling has been an age old tradition of the Chinese and has many popular games to its credit.
Keno is a Chinese game and one of the original forms of the lottery. Over the years Keno has evolved into different forms and is now played in different versions in several casinos around the globe. Another ancient Chinese game to have attained popularity is Pai Gow. Pai Gow Poker as adapted by the Americans is a hybrid version of the original game. It is a combination of the original with certain elements of poker and has turned out to be an interesting and simple game loved and played by people everywhere. However many critics do not like the new version and condemn it for being too simplistic, a far cry form the otherwise “beautiful and complex” Pai Gow of the ancient Chinese culture.
China is not the only country to have contributed to the world of gambling; games like Craps, Baccarat, Roulette and Blackjack have roots in Europe. Craps is a direct descendent of the rich heritage of dice and has been around for hundreds of years. The game of blackjack also originated in Italy and France. While Baccarat was mainly a favorite among the rich, Blackjack was popular amongst the masses. Till date Baccarat tables are reserved in the high roller areas of casinos, while the common people get a taste of it at smaller tables called the Mini Baccarat tables.
Other popular betting sports include the spectator sports like thoroughbred horse racing. It started in England during the 1700s and traveled to the US with the early British settlers. The traditions of this game have remained relatively unchanged. Another seemingly uncommon spectator sport is the game of Jai Alai. Because of its speed and relative brevity, it has become a unique and successful gambling sport. Florida remains the center of the game.
In the recent years, internet gambling has assumed great importance and popularity. In spite of a relatively short period of prevalence the novelty of the online gambling market serves a challenge to the traditional laws of communication. Offshore online gaming casinos have also mushroomed in recent years. All games including poker, blackjack and even slots can be played online. What attracts people is the unhurried and uninterrupted betting stage created through online gambling. The only concern that remains is the issue of legality – laws and rules as yet not properly formed leaving much too much ambiguity in online gaming sites.