What is Gambling?

“Gambling is the wagering of money or something of value (referred to as “the stakes”) on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning money or material goods. Gambling thus requires three elements be present: consideration, chance, and prize. The outcome of the wager is often immediate, such as a single roll of dice, a spin of a roulette wheel, or a horse crossing the finish line, but longer time frames are also common, allowing wagers on the outcome of a future sports contest or even an entire sports season.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambling

Gambling is interesting because it could be argued that gambling doesn’t even have anything to do with games. It’s usually about making money after all – which makes it much closer to work. But gambling definitely has a gaming component from its uncertain outcomes to rules of play, and gambling has had a huge impact on the more traditional games we see today. So let’s take a look at gambling’s not-so-certain history all the way from antiquity to the present, and maybe along the way, we’ll try to figure out why we like playing these “games” so much anyway.

“The term gaming in this context typically refers to instances in which the activity has been specifically permitted by law. The two words are not mutually exclusive; i.e., a “gaming” company offers (legal) “gambling” activities to the public and may be regulated by one of many gaming control boards, for example, the Nevada Gaming Control Board. However, this distinction is not universally observed in the English-speaking world. For instance, in the United Kingdom, the regulator of gambling activities is called the Gambling Commission (not the Gaming Commission). The word gaming is used more frequently since the rise of computer and video games to describe activities that do not necessarily involve wagering, especially online gaming, with the new usage still not having displaced the old usage as the primary definition in common dictionaries.

Gambling is also a major international commercial activity, with the legal gambling market totaling an estimated $335 billion in 2009. In other forms, gambling can be conducted with materials which have a value but are not real money. For example, players of marbles games might wager marbles, and likewise games of Pogs or Magic: The Gathering can be played with the collectible game pieces (respectively, small discs and trading cards) as stakes, resulting in a meta-game regarding the value of a player’s collection of pieces.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambling