Gambling is a pastime that has been around since humans have been able to conceive of staking something on uncertain outcomes for rewards. However, while this hobby enjoys a sizeable degree of popularity virtually everywhere, its expressions differ from place to place. That is so because, like most things, it gets influenced by distinct cultural, economic, and historical factors. In some spots, this entertainment form has become deeply rooted in customs spanning centuries. And in others, it is non-existent or frowned upon, primarily due to religious reasons.
It is vital to note that what most people think of when someone says gambling, the casino-style and sports betting of today, are fairly new inventions. Most established gaming products have gotten created in the past two centuries. So wagering practices, as we know them now in the legal mainstream space, have shorter traditions than illegal ones, which will not get covered here for obvious reasons. That out of the way, let’s rattle off five locations where gambling has a unique twist.
Monte Carlo – Monaco
When the topic of best European countries for gambling comes up, Monaco rarely gets mentioned on account of the fact that most forget that this independent sovereign city- state does rank as a country, one that, in truth, is most synonymous with low taxes and gambling. The idea for gaming establishments to open up in this microstate on the French Riviera originated from Princess Caroline, who thought it could pull the House of Grimaldi from the brink of bankruptcy through this venture.
Though Monaco lacked the infrastructure to become a resort location, it somewhat managed to become one, with the Place du Casino opening up in the summer of 1865. Boasting a Beaux Arts style, the venue is home to loads of different gaming options but is most famous as the Old Continent go-to spot for classic roulette action. It is known as the place where Joseph Jagger capitalized on a wheel’s bias and the locale where the little white ball fell on black twenty-six times in a row in one session.
Macau – China
Macau gets called the world’s gambling capital, earning this moniker due to generating impressive gross gaming revenues that no other destination can match. For example, in August 2023, this administrative region raked in $2.12 billion, its highest monthly figure ever.
What loads of people do not know about Macau is that it was a Portuguese colony and much of Portugal’s influence still gets felt on the island, which legalized gambling in 1850. It is a spot where baccarat rules supreme, as it creates most of Macau’s revenues via its high-stakes sessions.
Las Vegas – USA
Here is something super interesting about Sin City. It is one of the few gambling destinations on the globe that allows lottery-style games for non-charitable gambling in its bingo and keno halls. But, it does not permit PayPal betting or any form of online gaming. That is something that Nevada lawmakers are fighting hard to maintain, as they wish to keep the digital sphere out of the Battle Born State, allowing its operators to focus on delivering the most premium brick-and-mortar gambling experience on the planet, something they are known for globally.
Dublin – Ireland
Gambling in Ireland has a long and rich history, with records of wagering activities enjoyed in the Land of Saints and Scholars dating back to 100 BC. Nevertheless, casual sports betting, wagering on horse races, and games of chance rose to prominence in the Emerald Isle in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Horse races and traditional casinos are popular in Ireland, with Dublin’s The Sporting Emporium standing head and shoulders above the competition, but know that the Irish also go wild for scratch cards and lotteries.
London – United Kingdom
Gambling has been a thing in England forever, with Queen Elizabeth launching the country’s first national lottery in the sixteenth century to raise funds for harbor repairs. Around this time, horse races also began running at Chester. Though, it was not until the 1960s that sports wagering became legal and widely accepted. London, right now, has over six hundred betting shops, making it the UK’s hotbed for sports gambling fun.