From the Book of Genesis: Adam and Eve gamble with the future of mankind as they disobey God and eat from the forbidden fruit on the Tree of Life.
50,000–10,000 BCE: Indigenous populations in the Western Hemisphere gamble on the results of contests.
6000 BCE: Dice are used in games played in the Middle East.
4000 BCE: Babylonian soldiers use chariots in horse races.
2800 BCE: Dog races are held in Egypt.
2500 BCE: Dice found in pyramid tombs of Egyptian pharaohs are “gaffed,” that is, crooked.
2000 BCE: Egyptians race mounted horses.
624 BCE: There is a mounted horse race in the 33rd Olympic Games.
500–400 BCE: Cockfighting is encouraged in ancient Greece.
33 CE: Roman soldiers wager to win the robes of Christ during the Crucifixion.
200: Romans organize a formal horse race meet in England.
800: Playing cards are used in northern India. 1174: Henry II of England establishes weekly horse races at county fairgrounds. 1492: As Columbus sails to the Western Hemisphere, his crew plays card games. 1495: Columbus brings horses to the Western Hemisphere. 1530: Florence (in present-day Italy) is the first European state to have a lottery. 1566: England charters its first government lottery. 1576: England holds “coursing” events for greyhounds. These are the precursors for dog races.

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