Land Based Casino Evolution
Origin of the word "casino"
Casinos have been a favorite pastime for millions of people around the world and have turned many players millionaires over the years. Since as long back as 2300 BC, gambling has existed in various different forms in several countries around the world. Different cultures had different types of gambling games which they used as a form of recreation over the years.
The word casino itself got its name from the Italian word “Casa” which literally means a summerhouse or a small villa in the country. Later, the word was used for any place or building which had been used for pleasure and games. Such buildings were usually built within the complex of large palaces or villas in ancient Italy. In the ancient times, these buildings were used for music, dancing and several forms of gambling for the towns where they existed.
Many of such ancient casinos are still present and can be seen in Italy like Villa Farnese and Villa Giulia. Later, in the 19th century the word casino actually referred to buildings that included various recreational activities like sports, games and gambling.
However, in the olden times all casinos were not used for gambling. For example Copenhagen Casino was actually used as a theater and had been used for meetings during the revolution of 1848. The casino had been used as a theater till 1937. In Finland, the Hanko had also never been used as an actual casino. The Banko had actually been a banquet for noble families from Russia. Even today, the Banko is used only as a restaurant. The Hanko had been, and is still is one of the most famous landmarks in the city. On the Catalina Island is another such casino on the Avalon Harbor which is quite famous but has actually never been used for gambling or card games.
One of the earliest known casinos had been established first in Italy in 1638 in Venice. The casino had been called Casino di Venezia and it still exists even today. In US, the casinos were originally known as saloons. Saloons or casinos had first been established in four cities, San Francisco, Chicago, Saint Louis and in New Orleans. Due to their importance in trade and commerce, these cities had attracted quite a lot of people from different locations and these people used to meet at the saloons to gamble and drink.
Because of various social reforms and various laws, gambling had been declared illegal in the 20th century. However, they had been legalized in Nevada in 1931 and it was then that Las Vegas became the gambling city of the world with a string off world's best casinos springing up on the strip. Following Las Vegas, Atlantic City too legalized gambling and various famous world casinos had been established in the city.