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How Chinese Culture Influenced the Development of Casinos



The Chinese are rightfully considered one of the most gambling nations in the world. The gaming zone in Macau is comparable in popularity to the legendary Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Addiction to gambling in China has a long history and influenced the development of the global gambling industry.

A Bit of History

Researchers are convinced that gambling in China dates back to the 2300s BC. They began to gain great popularity during the reign of the Xia dynasty. The prototypes of casinos appeared in China as early as the 7th century AD, long before the opening of the first European casinos. The gambling business was controlled by influential organizations, often associated with crime and enjoying the patronage of bribe-taking officials.

The Great Chinese Empire excited the minds of Europeans for a long time. Many works of world fiction, famous films, and TV series are devoted to its traditions and culture. The developers of slots have not spared this topic either, offering different thematic machines such as Dragon Shrine RTP of which is 96.55%.

In the 14-17 centuries, the gambling business was a highly profitable activity, and the organizers of gambling houses were respected people. Since the second half of the 19th century, gambling had been concentrated in Shanghai. Large casinos operated there where both national and foreign games were available.

After the 1949 revolution, gambling was banned almost throughout China, excluding Macau, a former Portuguese colony. The gambling business was legalized here in 1847 and has been constantly developing since then, providing 70% of the region’s income.

China Influenced the Development of Gambling

Ancient China is considered the birthplace of card games. The first playing cards were designated by numbers and symbols. Other games that rely on a combination of luck, bluffing and clever strategy originated in China thousands of years ago:

  • Mahjong. This is a version of the game Majiang, which also hails from ancient China. According to the main version of origin, it was invented by the philosopher Confucius in 500 BC during his long travels. The game, in which you had to find the same images on wooden chips, became very popular in China. It was also played for money – the players placed their bets, and the winner took the entire amount.
  • Keno. The first lottery was invented by Emperor Chung Leung in the 2nd century BC to replenish the state treasury. But the game turned out to be so popular that it helped to finance the army and even build the Great Wall of China.
  • Sic Bo is a traditional three-dice gambling game, the prototype of the craps game. It has two main game aspects – throwing the dice and betting. Both of these processes take place at the Sic Bo table (similar to a roulette table). The object of the game is to predict the numbers that will appear at the top after the dice are rolled. You can bet on one, two, or all three dice by placing your chips on the correct spots on the table. In the beginning, players choose the amount on which they bet and put it on the table for a combination. There is no strategy in Sic Bo, it all depends on luck.

Thus, many modern casino games have their origins in ancient China. Gambling has been an important part of Chinese culture for many years. Today, many of them have become an exciting hobby not only for the Chinese but also for a considerable number of gamblers around the world.

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