The casino we know today, with its vibrant atmosphere, noisy gaming rooms crowded with tourists and fortune hunters, initially looked completely different and had a completely different function. We go to today’s casinos mostly to have fun, to relax, and of course to win, whether it’s a traditional casino or an online casino. However, sometime in the 19th century, casinos were not created to have the most exciting card battles or to hit the jackpot. The goal was quite different, namely that the thinking citizens could meet each other and advance public education, political processes and engage in a meaningful exchange of ideas. The XIX , the casino was one of the most important meeting places and social venues of the bourgeoisie and the nobility.
Regardless, there were already places where they dealt with gambling. The first of its kind is the ‘casino di Venezia’ in Venice, Italy, which was founded in 1638 and has withstood the test of time to such an extent that it still operates as a casino in a magnificent Renaissance palace built in 1509. Our word casino also comes from the Italian word “casa”, which means a small villa, pavilion, summer residence.
We can thank István Széchenyi for the establishment of casinos in Hungary. In 1827, upon returning home from England, he proposed the idea of founding one based on the English model, which would serve public education and provide opportunities for those thinkers who are working to improve Hungary. At first it was called the Pest Casino, and from 1830 it was referred to as the National Casino.
Despite the fact that XIX. in the second half of the 20th century, high-ranking nobles such as Rudolf the Austrian-Hungarian heir to the throne or Prince Albert Edward of Wales joined the national Hungarian casino, not only aristocrats could visit the casino. The only criteria for admission was that the person should be educated, fair and blameless. The Budapest National Casino first had its own building in 1871, when the Cziráki Palace at 5 Kossuth Lajos Street was purchased. The new casino was furnished with elegant furniture suitable for castles, its library contained thirty thousand books and 190 Hungarian and foreign newspapers and magazines were available. A restaurant was also operated in the casino, there were often dance parties and musical evenings, and the games of chance also offered good entertainment…
Meanwhile, the first casinos were established in the United States of America in the 19th century. century, but they also had a different function: there they operated more like a kind of pub, mainly in the big cities and their surroundings, primarily in San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans and St. Louis.
After a while, the function of the casinos began to change: instead of exchanging world-changing ideas, the main role was gradually given to entertainment, fun and gambling. Debates, lectures, and the desire to improve the world slowly faded from its walls.
In America, gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931, which had previously been banned, so there were no more obstacles in the way of casinos there either, and development became unstoppable. Nowadays, for example, 40 million tourists are attracted to Las Vegas, which is famous as a stronghold of gambling, glamour, and casinos.
A lot of time has passed since the establishment of the first casinos, the world has changed and the casino was no exception: nowadays they are not in palaces, but in shopping malls, restaurants, luxury ships, hotels, and instead of exchanging ideas about gambling, their shows, concerts, and the organization of sports events they are famous.
Recently, the casino has also moved to the online space, you can play sitting in front of a computer or pressing the smart phones. The time has come when casinos moved into homes too…