Gambling in China
The provinces of China aren’t oblivious to the concept of gambling at all. Where on one side, theories claim that the origin of gambling finds its roots in the lands of Greece and Rome, some studies on the other side reveal that gambling was intercepted in China and the same was then extended to other parts of the world. Nevertheless, China entertains a number of theories, interesting facts as well as a great history about gambling. The Chinese culture embraces the concept of gambling as one of its oldest and popular activities that is equally widespread in the present era.
Chinese gambling history
Time and again, various studies have revealed that the very first instances of gambling were recorded in the land of China. It is considered that Keno, which was then a form of gambling product was firstly played and enjoyed in China and the evidences of it date back around 3,000 years ago. Some other studies claim that the card games like Poker and Blackjack, that we enjoy today, too have been made-up in China. Gambling in China was very popular and widespread and was enjoyed by the people of all classes, regardless of the fact that it was under a strict regulatory control in the country.
A number of records suggest that gambling in China was started as a measure of leisure and entertainment where the ancient Chinese involved themselves into this activity in order to keep themselves happily occupied. Numerous accounts reveal that the wagering of games in China was founded in the periods of Xia and Shang dynasties. The fad of gambling and wagering was very much widespread among the people of latter class which also happened to be a high-class segment of the people.
From imperial officials to the nomads, gambling was enjoyed by almost anybody and everybody in ancient China. Because of the love for gambling among the Chinese, the variety of the games of gambling in the country began to increases. Furthermore, improved economic conditions of the sections there added more to this fashion. Thus, gambling was popular throughout China, ranging from the countryside to the inner cosmopolitan areas.
The evidences of the popularity of gambling in China could be recorded considering a number of eras where the fad of gambling rose to the highest. During the Han dynasty, gambling was utilized majorly for entertainment purpose and the same was developed as a habit among the imperial officials. During the Tang dynasty, a number of specialized gambling organizations were developed that served as a venue for a heavy gambling. However, this development of the gambling organization had a negative effect on the population of the country as these organizations were believed to cause social disorder as well as dissatisfaction among the gamblers.
Gradually, gambling in China took a shape of commercialization and therefore a number of different forms of gambling were introduced. More number of Chinese began to see the concept of gambling as a mode of livelihood which involved a use of deception in them, which was majorly done to win their games. The rule of Southern Song dynasty introduced a domino game known as Xuan he Pai. At the same time, the Ming dynasty introduced a card game known as Ma diao Pai. All these games successfully spread like a wildfire and the same were enjoyed by the people of China.
Though gambling was a little restricted affair during the Yuan dynasty, the same was still enjoyed by the people. During all these rules and eras in China, gambling began to spread itself into all the corners of the country and caused a great havoc among the people since people began to heavily involve themselves into this concept which further led the official to restrict its practice. The imperial officials of the Qing dynasty considered the then-introduced gambling dens as a great source of tax revenue. Thus, the temptation of collecting huge monetary gains made these officials corrupt and the activities like drug smuggling also started to take a shape.
Control over gambling
A number of ancient rulers of China looked forward to banning the tradition of gambling when it was found that the concept of gambling was slowly turning into an obsession. Moreover, gambling and related activities also started to associate itself with illegal triads, drugs, corruption as well as secret societies. Thus, gambling was put under a strict regulatory control and the same was often banned throughout the history of the country during certain instances. A number of rulers preferred to ban the gambling dens as well as activities which permitted the people to gather and further bet on large gambling stakes.
Not only this, the ancient rulers also employed a number of Chinese philosophies as well as education in order to influence the masses about the way that they should think about gambling. Gambling was seen to be a morally bad activity and hence it should be avoided to reserve the social culture, order as well as integrity of the country.
Gambling in the modern era
Soon, gambling was evolved to be a legal activity and hence the so-called ban upon it was lifted. Today, the form of gambling has turned into social gambling and the same has become very popular among the people of China.
China entertains the biggest hub of gambling, Macau which is considered to be one of the best places to enjoy the game of gambling. There are the finest of casinos that let the people bet and enjoy in full throttle. Interestingly, Macau is the only place in China where casino gambling has been legalized.
Apart from the land based gambling, people in China have involved themselves into online gambling as well. A number of websites are going great guns and they are earning huge profits out of the same. A recent report has revealed that gambling is now fairly regarded as a national leisure activity by a number of Chinese.
The evolution of gambling in China has experienced a number of ups and downs, however, the passion of gambling among the Chinese seem to have no end.