Mythological History of Gambling

When do you think gambling started? It’s not a century old game. In fact, gambling is one the mankind’s oldest activities. The history of gambling dates back to pre-historic societies. The beginning of gambling can be traced to religious rituals and is considered divinatory in origin.

The old mythological rituals related to gambling had a purpose of explaining what was beyond comprehension. Mythological history of gambling in Rome has its deep roots in history, thus, reaching a long time back. Wagering was considered a national pastime in Rome. The Roulette game played by gamblers today has been adapted from the symbol of Roman Goddess of Luck – Fortuna – which is ‘Wheel of Fortune.’ Gambling also secured a special place in ancient Greece. It is believed that after creating the universe, Greek Gods – Zeus, Hades and Poseidon – sat for a game of dice.

Ancient history of gambling reflects that it was more prevalent in societies where there is a widespread belief in gods and luck. In ancient civilization, gambling was not just used as entertainment but also for political and religious reasons. Whether in the form of game of dice between Kauravas and Pandavas in the Indian epic, Mahabharata or casinos in the U.S., gambling will always remain an integral part of human life.

When we talk about gambling, we usually connect it with casinos, roulette, lottery, dice, etc. But the fact is that some forms of gambling have existed for thousands of years. In ancient civilization, gambling was considered to be a game of luck and fortune. It is believed that people used to seek the intentions of the gods and the knowledge of the future for gambling.

Gambling with dice was very popular in India. Indian culture adopted gambling from the beginning of Indian civilization. The game of dice between Kauravas and Pandavas gave birth to the royal rival called Kurukshetra war, thus, forming the basis for the Indian epic, Mahabharata. Everybody during the glory days of Roman has enjoyed gambling. Even today, many gambling games use the wheel of fortune, which was the symbol of the Roman Goddess of Luck, “Fortuna.” In Greece, people believe that the makers of universe i.e., Zeus, Hades and Poseidon played the game of dice after the creation of sea, heaven and hell.