Experts have found gambling records dating back as far as 2,100 years B.C. Interestingly enough, it is known that the game we know as Keno was played around this time.
What’s more, games with similar traits to Poker and Blackjack were also thought to be played by Chinese upper-class citizens and members of its military.
Throughout history, gambling had a similar view by the government as it does today; it was thought of as an evil obsession that would generate serious problems in society. Therefore, it has been officially banned or frowned up even during ancient times.
Yet, this did not stop the Chinese people, and during the Spring and Autumn periods (771 to 476 BC) in China, gambling became completely mainstream.
Nearly everyone was indulging in wagering on various games, from villagers in the countryside to high-class citizens and military men, the latter of which often faced repercussions for overindulgence.
During the Tang (617 – 908 A.D.) and Northern Song (950 – 1128 A.D.) dynasties, the first forms of gambling venues i.e. casinos began to appear. It is around this time that Xuan He Pai was invented, which is the basis for modern-day Mahjong.
Gambling continued to thrive in the middle ages as well, and many people began to treat it as a form of livelihood, which read to obvious problems.