Encyclopedia - History Of Gambling In Africa

Gambling has an impressively rich history, and most people would agree that it has been around since forever, as there is solid evidence to suggest people were involved in some form of gambling at any point in the history of humankind. In other words, any attempt to pinpoint just one relevant event and label it as the birthdate of gambling would fail or end up drowning in a sea of contradictions. Similar things can be said about any attempt to mention the one event that has lead to the creation of casino games as we know them today. Most historians would agree that gambling, in general, has gradually grown and evolved in time, with ever-changing rules and strategies, new platforms, and means of accessing it.

However, pinpointing the origins of some of the most popular casino games may be easier to do. Since they are considered to be an essential actor in the very growth of the human race and civilization itself, lots of historians dedicated their time to learn more about them. A few important mysteries have been explained in relation to casino games that might be part of your list of favourites right now. Curious to know what gambling looked like in ancient times, what are some mythological meanings of gambling and what did gambling in the nineties or 2000s looked like, as opposed to present times? We have prepared a brief and interesting piece on the history of gambling around the world, and we have also focused our attention on the history of gambling in Africa.

What Did Ancient Gambling Look Like?

As stated at the beginning of this article, there is no palpable proof to support the fact that the history of gambling actually dates back to the birth of civilization. However, we do have proof dating back as early as the third millennia BC of people engaging in a form of gambling. There is also lots of archaeological proof that suggests the Ancient Chinese were engaging in gambling activities. If you are familiar with the prestigious Book of Songs, one of the oldest gatherings of poetry belonging to the people of China, you should know that it is also considered one of the most enlightening proofs that gambling took place in Ancient China. There are plenty of Chinese poems in the book that accurately describes gambling, with games of chance called “drawing of wood” or the current straw drawing game as we all know it today.

Plus, there is also some evidence that the people in Ancient China played a lottery version that resembled what today goes by the name of “keno”. According to some historians, the proceeds from this ancient keno game were actually used by the rulers to finance important construction projects, including the Great Wall of China.

In parallel, the Greeks in Ancient Greece started playing dice and the game was first introduced to them by Ancient Egyptians. However, the Greek version of the game is more connected to the famous Trojan War.it was Sophocles, one of the most successful poets in Ancient Greece who stated that dice were invented by Palamedes, who is also responsible for inventing seven letters of the alphabet.

The Greeks who lived in ancient times were also big fans of a series of other games of chance, and they are also thought to be the ones who first presented gambling to the people in Ancient Rome. Casino chips as we know them today seem to have been invented by the Romans at a time when gambling started to become people's favourite pastimes. Roman rulers attempted to stop the activity. The people of Rome who were trying to find loopholes in the new rules decided to create and use chips to the detriment of real money.

Interesting Gambling History In Africa

As for the gambling history in Africa, we are going to first mention the fact that North Africa is Muslim, which means gambling is automatically forbidden by the maisir or Islamic law. The first dice games are thought to originate from 3000 BC and they were founded in Egypt. The sub-Saharan region of Africa is believed to have first embraced gambling in the form of thoroughbred horse races during the 18th century, even though the first horses were brought here from China to South Africa as a means of improving the local stock. Some of the Middle Eastern thoroughbreds who became Arabian thoroughbreds reached the European and Asian continents in time and many of them also reached North Africa.

Western Africa is also known for having been influenced by the Islamic culture as well in terms of gambling laws prior to the arrival of colonialism. However, gambling was said to have thrived here. It is even thought that the Tanala residents of Madagascar used to participate in a form of gambling for several centuries prior to gambling reaching the mainland.

Brief Online Gambling History

1994 is believed to be the year of birth for the online gambling industry, as it coincides with the time when Antigua and Barbuda officially passed their Free Trade & Processing Act. This specific Act enables specialized companies to give out gambling licenses to interested operators that comply with their strict requirements. In 1994, this was great news for numerous operators in the industry that were eager to get their permits and start legally running their virtual portals for gamblers and punters.

Two major operators started accepting online wagers: InterCasino and The Gaming Club. The latter is closely tied to Microgaming’s launch of its online game portfolio its portfolio. Microgaming powered The Gaming Club online, but it was only until the nineties that fresh technology started slowly emerging on the market that was not yet fully accustomed to the use of the internet.

CryptoLogic was a software developer similar to Microgaming and the two companies kept competing for one against the other continued into 1995, with the companies continuing to compete for one against the other. This meant their products kept betting better and more versatile until CryptoLogic finally managed to create the very first safe Web solution that enabled players to complete secure money transactions on the web while doing their gambling.

Consequently, Microgaming transferred video poker, blackjack, roulette, and craps online and created a player management system.

In 1995, the Gibraltar government issued the first license in the world to The Gaming Club, and on the 7th of November in 1996, InterCasino was accepting its first-ever online wager. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission was created by the Mohawk First Nation Territory of Kahnawake, nearby Montreal, enabling dozens of global casino operators to operate using special certificates issued by the respective gambling commission.

Later on, while the industry was still shaping itself, the first calls for restricting online gambling started being heard from the US. In 1999, The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act tried to prevent American gamblers from accessing non-regulated operators. The attempt failed and it was followed by Australia's Moratorium Act issued in 2000 in an attempt to stop illegal operators from operating running without carrying a license.

Offline And Online Gambling In Africa 

Fast-forward to today, gambling in Africa presents itself differently, depending on the country and region you are looking at. Uganda's president recently tweeted that he plans to stop any fresh foreign betting operators from registering there while renewing the licenses of existing operators. In sub-Saharan parts of Africa, there are brand new casinos online released periodically.

In 2016, the parliament in Angola passed a law that focused on the creation of casinos that would be controlled by the state, as well as the implementation of state lotteries and online gambling.

Nigerians can access foreign gambling sites and both Nigeria and South Africa run a national.

Kenya hosts close to 50 casinos, horse racetracks and bingo halls, and horse racetracks, and Kenyans are able to access foreign casinos online for real money as well.

Egypt is the greatest gambling nation on the continent, hosting 17 legal operators, even though it does not allow the use of the country's currency.

Today, Africa is the fastest-growing mobile gambling market on the planet and online gambling is expected to keep growing here in the upcoming years.

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