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During the golden age of the silver screen, gambling was always portrayed as an incredibly decadent pastime, favoured largely by the very rich. Whenever a casino was shown, it was populated by elegant people in evening dress, sipping elaborate drinks and sliding stacks of chips around with gay abandon.
Characters such as James Bond swished smoothly around the gaming tables, whispering into his cuffs and pitting his nerves of steel against players with nefarious motives. Not only did he always have exceptional luck, but his cool approach and extensive knowledge of the games gave him a suave image that became synonymous with casino gambling.
Of course, the origins of gaming houses were among the rich, from the original casino, Il Ridotto in Venice which welcomed only the upper classes. The fad for gambling spread through the upper echelons of European society as the well-heeled gentry enjoyed the excitement of a potential win.
The birth of the modern casino
While there are some casinos that maintain their high society reputations, there are many others that are frequented by a wide range of different people. When the state of Nevada voted to legalise gambling in order to try and generate some tax dollars, the city of Las Vegas was established as a gaming capital for visitors to the West Coast.
Workers building the Hoover Dam would travel across the border to spend their wages and casinos became a mainstream source of entertainment for all kinds of blue-collar workers in the United States. Going to the casino became a popular choice for friends that wanted to have a fun time together and fans of casino games could enjoy a wide choice of games all under one roof.
The public attitude to gambling
For a long time, gambling was considered a symptom of decadence and various religious movements have condemned gambling in many of its different forms. This has occasionally resulted in laws being tightened or relaxed, with rulers such as King Charles II favouring horse racing and popularising the sport, thus bolstering the betting scene, during his reign.
Greyhound racing has also been subject to trends, but it became hugely popular in the aftermath of the first world war when there was a campaign to change gambling laws to make them less restrictive. Regardless of the legality or otherwise of gambling, those that wanted to bet on the outcome of their favourite sport always found a way and bookmakers continued to cater to clients from all sectors of society.
More recently, the Betting and Gaming Act of 1960 paved the way for the UK’s adoption of bingo as one of the most popular games of the 1960s. As dancehalls began to offer bingo as well, the chance to enjoy a night out with friends and a chance to win a big cash prize began to attract more fans.
The appeal of games such as this has lasted and enabled them to evolve from a game that brought people together physically to one that brings people together online. Many sites encourage their users to chat bingo online with their friends and share tips and advice to help maximise their fun.
Bingo and other gaming websites often run their own communities and social media groups dedicated to ensuring that the things that made the original version so appealing have been captured in digital form for their modern fans.
Attitudes towards gambling in the 21st century
The birth of online gambling has allowed more people than ever to play casino games with no need to leave the house. Players can join one another online without needing to be physically close to each other, meaning that casino gaming is now an option for those with irregular shift patterns, caring responsibilities, or other commitments.
With so many different games available and a multi-billion-dollar gaming industry creating new ones all the time, gaming has gone from a niche activity for ‘computer geeks’ to a mainstream pastime that attracts billions of players. The popularity of smartphones and the development of apps has made it even easier for friends to play together.
Recent research also suggests that playing computer games can have a positive effect on players’ long-term memories, and games that rely on statistics and probability deliver measurable neurological benefits. Attitudes towards gambling have become even more liberal as it became clear that there are many games that can improve players’ mental agility.
Many of the objections to gambling have been overcome by the advent of safer and more regulated ways in which to play. Gamers can have all the benefits of playing some of the world’s most popular games using 21st-century technology to deliver games that are playable and engaging in a fun and safe environment.
Today, players can carry around hundreds of different games on apps on their smartphones, with thousands of other games available at the touch of a button. Public attitudes towards gaming and gamers have changed, as have public perceptions of gambling and games of chance.
The gaming and gambling industries have grown so quick in a way that improves the public perception of both and gives players a varied and engaging online experience.