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Evolution of Gambling

Gambling, as defined by Merriam Webster, is "to play games of chance for money". For many of us, gambling is the most favorite way to kill time and enjoy ourselves at the same time. Gambling is almost always synonymous with "having a good time" and it never fails to stay true to its meaning. It would be interesting to know how it had become an indispensable reality in our modern societies.

Gambling is known to all periods and cultures that ever existed on earth. Dice carved from the ankle bones of antelopes have been dug out from pre-historic tombs and sacred burial caves. This only proves how long gambling has been with human civilization, way before our known ancestors have existed.

Do you know that our childhood game of guessing the number of upheld fingers was actually from the Egyptians game they called "atep"? The classical Greeks and Jews from biblical Israel are also known to have played and gambled with dice. The gladiator fights and chariot races wouldn't have been as thrilling and exciting for the Romans had it not involved betting. In contemporary settings, these would be similar to sports betting such as horse racing and jai alai. Germans have even explored the non-traditional ways of gambling and have gone to as far as gambling not only their wealth but their liberty as well.

Today, the UK is known to be the most lenient when it comes to gambling. Some cities have, in fact, built its economy around the world of gambling. Macao would have to be the haven for the gamblers in the East, providing a lot of jobs and business opportunities for the locals while also catering to the insatiable desire of gambling travelers. In the West, nobody could argue with the popularity of Las Vegas, known as the gambling capital of the world. Recently, Atlantic City could also give Las Vegas a run for its money as it continues to flourish and enhance its gaming facilities and luxurious resorts to attract more tourists.

Gambling, up to this date, remains to be a game of chance---and games like roulette and craps---are based solely on this. Although some may argue that gambling is also a game of skill, such as poker, the ultimate outcome of the game still largely depends on the random distribution of the cards.

Today, however, gambling has become more sophisticated and beneficial to society as modern governments have found ways of utilizing the huge amounts of money contributed by gamblers and retaining a certain proportion to fund their own social programs---such is the case in legalizing the lottery.

Gambling is truly innate in human nature. Gambling is here to stay and to provide fun and enjoyment for many of us. Whether it be the time of Moses or the Cyber Age, gambling will always be in the blueprint of our societies.

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