Greek pottery art depicting Achilles and Ajax playing dice

The Unexpected History of Gambling

From blocks made of clay to the blocks made by cryptography, Faireum features the journey of gambling along with the civilization of mankind.

Faireum Official
6 min readJan 30, 2019

It’s safe to say that for as long as humanity has existed, gambling has existed as well. There seems to be an undeniable link between human nature and the inclination to take a chance with one’s luck. No matter how far back in time we go, there are always signs that people used to gather together and gamble in one way or another. And, just like with everything else, this pastime came to evolve together with the whole of mankind, passing through various stages until it got to its contemporary form.

Ancient Times: From Stick and Stones

It’s mind-blowing to fathom just how far back gambling goes: archaeological digs unanimously point to the fact that Ancient Mesopotamia — the cradle of the collective Western civilization — were the first locations where the earliest form of betting took place. Soon after, it spread across China and Asia — two other great civilizations who innovated gambling with the introduction of the elaborate hundred-piece game for betting in China.

The Royal Game of Ur, one of the first strategy board games played in ancient Mesopotamia

When people decided to counter the effects of everyday hardships, China saw them introducing dice games as well as betting whole herds of cattle on chariot racing for some much-needed entertainment. This is the first time entertainment and practicality came together in gambling in the ancient world.

Meanwhile, the European civilization was not so kind on this new form of entertainment. From the Romans to several other civilizations that came along it, many types of gambling were outlawed or restricted only to noblemen. It wasn’t until several governing bodies started regulating gambling that it slowly found its way into the lives of people on the continent. When two noblemen used a game of cards for the first time to settle their differences, betting a portion of the forest of Ardennes, this marked the beginning of a “high-stakes game.”

The Colosseum, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, was once the center of betting and gambling in the Roman empire

The 19th Century to Present: Winning the War with Gambling

The British, having discovered the power of gambling, decided to take full advantage of it and authorize a state lottery to raise funds for the war against France while criminalizing non-governmental lotteries and making all gambling debts uncollectible in a court of law under The Statute of Anne.

The Napoleonic Wars paved the way to create the greatest lottery in history to finance Spain in the war against France

It wasn’t until several centuries later, however, when gambling experienced its first revolution with the invention of the slot machine and the introduction of national lotteries. For the first time ever, people were witnessing the transformative powers of technology. The 21st century marked a major milestone for gambling, largely thanks to technology. The Internet has made it much easier for people to choose the right game to play, and the popularity of mobile gaming has significantly driven recent evolution in the gaming industry.

The modern casino we have all come to know

Since smartphones and app stores hit the market in 2007, gambling has undergone yet another rapid evolution that has changed not only the way people place bets and play games but also brought gambling into the mainstream culture in a way never before seen. Rapid developments in mobile technology over the last decade have created an explosion of mobile gaming, which is set to overtake revenue from console-based gambling in 2015. Now, we’re about to enter the new era of blockchain.

Faireum and the Blockchain Era: The Next Milestone in the Gambling Industry

Blockchain technology holds the potential to trigger the next evolution in the gambling industry. The signs are already there, as blockchain-based casino platforms are increasingly becoming popular online.

Blockchain’s rising popularity is driven by its problem-solving capabilities when it comes to game outcomes, winnings, payouts and more. It is the sole answer to the majority of the problems faced by conventional online gambling platforms. The lack of transparency across the existing gambling industry also makes it nearly impossible for platform users to realize whether the games are deliberately rigged in favor of the casino or not. As a result, a significant number of gamers restrict themselves from indulging in this form of entertainment. This has stalled the growth of the profitable sector for years. Indeed, the industry has noted this problem and appears to be taking a swing towards blockchain based gambling to solve its woes.

In the gambling industry, the application of blockchain technology introduces an element of trust never achieved before. By integrating blockchain technology, all parties benefit from the permanent record of a verifiable, unchangeable transaction ledger. This way, an online gambling platform using this technology provides transparency at every level imaginable.

This huge shift in the gaming industry toward blockchain, especially in Southeast Asia, cannot only widen gaming demographics but also push gaming to the forefront of media attention and technical innovation. Like the early gaming fans joining niche forums, today’s users have rallied around mobile gambling, and the Internet, magazines and social media, which are full of commentaries of new platforms and industry gossip. What’s even more — thanks to platforms like Faireum — independent casinos and Dapp (decentralized applications) developers can quickly reach a global audience without substantial investments.

Faireum is a blockchain company aimed at revolutionizing the gambling industry by providing blockchain-based solutions for the most pressing problems experienced by traditional and online casinos.

For the first time, Faireum uses the blockchain to create a proprietary development platform, where gaming companies and individual developers can expand their reach. The combination of a proprietary blockchain and its set of protocols allows developers to create their Dapps compatible with all of the WASM (wireless assembly) blockchain contracts written by high-level programming languages.

These advances could signify an amazing new chapter for gambling, driving a new level of engagement and competition to the exciting world of online betting. If the changes that have occurred over the last century are anything to go by, it appears that gambling by 2025 will be almost unrecognizable to how it is today. Although online casinos have long been household names since their release, platforms like Faireum are better positioned to meet the changing needs of the gambling sector.

Throughout its progression, gambling has seen multiple trends wane and tide. The application of blockchain technology into novel business models and platform architectures like the one we see in Faireum marks the next chapter for gambling. We are witnessing a new revolution that is remaking the sector. And whatever happens, it is sure to be entertaining.

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