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The term «gaming» in this context typically refers to instances in which the activity has been specifically permitted by law. In other forms, gambling can be conducted with materials which have a value, but are not real money. Gambling dates back to the Paleolithic period, before written history. In Mesopotamia the earliest six-sided dice date to about 3000 BC. However, they were based on astragali dating back thousands of years earlier. Playing cards appeared in the ninth century in China. Records trace gambling in Japan back at least as far as the 14th century.
Persian game As-Nas, dating back to the 17th century. The first known casino, the Ridotto, started operating in 1638 in Venice, Italy. Many jurisdictions, local as well as national, either ban gambling or heavily control it by licensing the vendors. Such regulation generally leads to gambling tourism and illegal gambling in the areas where it is not allowed. There is generally legislation requiring that the odds in gaming devices are statistically random, to prevent manufacturers from making some high-payoff results impossible. Since these high-payoffs have very low probability, a house bias can quite easily be missed unless the odds are checked carefully. Most jurisdictions that allow gambling require participants to be above a certain age.
In some jurisdictions, the gambling age differs depending on the type of gambling. For example, in many American states one must be over 21 to enter a casino, but may buy a lottery ticket after turning 18. Because contracts of insurance have many features in common with wagers, insurance contracts are often distinguished under law as agreements in which either party has an interest in the «bet-upon» outcome beyond the specific financial terms. An interesting wrinkle to these fact pattern is to ask what happens when the person trying to make recovery is the gambler’s spouse, and the money or property lost was either the spouse’s, or was community property. This was a minor plot point in a Perry Mason novel, The Case of the Singing Skirt, and it cites an actual case Novo v.
Religious perspectives on gambling have been mixed. Ancient Hindu poems like the Gambler’s Lament and the Mahabharata testify to the popularity of gambling among ancient Indians. Gambling views among Protestants vary with some either discouraging or forbidding their members from participation in gambling. The Islamic terminology for gambling is Maisir, however this also has a second definition meaning easy money.