Gambling is the wagering of money or other possesionson the the result of an event or a game, and has been a known activity throughtout history, dating back to the days of our earliest ancestors. Gamblig implements have been excavated in archaeological digs in Africa, China, Egypt, India, etc. Cave drawings depicting early humans engaged in gambling have also been discovered, proving that the earliest humans have known how to gamble.
The ancient Egyptian played a game called atep, wherein a player was tasked to guess the number of fingers another player held up. The ancient Greeks played with astragals, the predecessor of duce, and the Jews gamled with dice as well.
Few societies tolerated gambling well, however. In ancient EGgyp the practice of gambling was punishable being sent to work in the stocks. Greek officials found to have engaged in gambling for profitable purposes were often fined.
Other societies have found ways to put gambling to better uses. In France some monarchs used the proceeds of gambling to feed and clothe the poor. Gambling has also been credited for preventing a war between Sweden and Norway from occuring when the two countries were decidding about the ownership of the district of Hising, an isolated district that eventually came to be owned Norway through a die toss.
Today the UK is the most liberal when it comes to gambling laws, but legal gambling is found in other countries as well, like Monaco, Puerto RIco, Ghana, and France. In the US different states vary in their ganmbling laws, although the most common form of gambling allowed take the form of lotteries.
Games most heavily associated with gambling are those games that rely on chance to win, like roultette, craps, baccarat, poker, etc. The most widespread legal form of gambling is horse race betting and lotteries. It is also not unsual to see bets on the outcomes of games like football matches, boxing matches, etc. and in some instances some degree of betting is government sponsored.
Illegal gambling has been one of the problems faced governments today. It constitutes one of the largest ‘businesses’ around today and the gross income of illegal is estimated to exceed that of its legal counterpart.
Today people from every economic stratum engage in gambling. Compulsive gambling, a problem that plagues modern gamblers, is a common problem and is considered a sickness. Fortunately, rganizations like Gamblers Anonymous are present to offer ready help to those who are willing to get treatment.