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5 things you did not know about the history of gambling in Wales

Gambling has a prestigious, illustrious, and above all else, ancient relationship with humanity. Numerous historians and researchers believe that gambling games date back to the dawn of human history, maybe even dating back to Palaeolithic times. Excavations efforts in ancient China unearthed some tiles allegedly used for a rudimentary lottery game. Another indication of the antiquity of gambling is found in ancient Vedic Sanskrit literature, particularly in the old Gambler’s Lament found in Rigveda. To provide context, Rigveda is India’s most ancient collection of Vedic hymns. They were orally transmitted since the 2nd millennium BCE and collected in script between 1500 BCE-1000 BCE. These two facts show how old gambling has been throughout humanity’s history. If you are also a gambling fan looking for new bets and odds, feel free to stop by these UK bookies; hopefully, you will find what you are looking for.

We do not have to go back to ancient China and India to know how much gambling has changed and evolved. We can even see the societal impact gambling has had here in Wales. Betting and gambling games have been considered to be incredibly prevalent in Wales for many centuries. Even today, we can still see that gambling houses, bookmakers, terminals, bingo houses and horse racing tracks are booming in all regions of Wales.

If you are indeed a betting culture fan and want to know specific facts about the gambling history of Wales, feel free to keep on reading. Here are 5 things about the history of gambling in Wales you did not know.

1: No Gambling for you!

Gambling for the lower classes in the British Isles would change throughout the years. For centuries, lower classes would play games of dice and chance as a way to keep themselves entertained. The upper classes were not exempt, but they would enjoy other gambling activities, such as sports betting. Gambling was even banned by royalty and Parliament alike over centuries.

However, things changed in the 1900s as the passing of new legislation allowed betting shops to open. Furthermore, the Betting and Gaming act of 1961 would further open the doors for legal gambling, allowing land-based casinos to exist legally. Amongst the rules passed on this legislation, the age limit of over 18 to access these establishments was set.

2: A little horsing around never hurt anyone

Horse racing was considered a sport aimed primarily at the elites between 1600 and 1700, which meant only royalty, nobility and the wealthy alike were allowed to interact with it. However, this would change by the 19thcentury as habits evolved and became a sport available to the common folk.

By 1833, Wales hosted horse racing tournaments, becoming most popular in Cowbridge, Conwy, Brecon, Haverfordwest and Wrexham. Other activities hosted during these races were illegal pig races, ball dancing and horse racing, betting and gambling. This would eventually lead to religious condemnation of horse racing for promoting immoral behaviour and the cancellation of the Wrexham races for 3 decades.

In time, horse racing would come back in the 20th century, and by the 1930s, there were dozens of race tracks and mainstream coverage in newspapers. However, after the 1950s, horse racing’s popularity declined due to the surge of other sports such as football, condemnation of the practice by animal rights activists and increasing cost of the maintenance of horses. Horse racing is still quite a popular sport in Wales nowadays, with many well-renowned racetracks, such as the Chepstow Racecourse, where the Welsh Grand National is held.

3: Land-Based Casinos on Welsh-based Land

As previously stated, the 1960s would become a pivotal point in Wales’ gambling history, as it would finally be legal to open land-based casinos in the country. This would lead to the opening of new land-based casinos, even though there are not as many in Wales compared to other UK countries.

Currently, the best brick-and-mortar casinos in Wales are found in Cardiff and Swansea, the largest cities in the country. Amongst the most popular casinos in Wales, we find Les Croupiers Casino in Cardiff, the Mecca Bingo and Slots in Swansea, and The Grosvenor Casinos found in Cardiff and Swansea. Another popular casino used to be the Rainbow casino in Cardiff, but unfortunately, as of 2022, it will not reopen its installations in Wales.

One of the most popular gambling games in Wales has always been bingo. If you are a fan of this game, try it out at many brick-and-mortar casinos listed above or give it a shot at many online betting sites available in the UK.

4: Soaring online betting

The 21st century has shown us the rise in popularity of online gambling in Wales. Many factors have contributed to this, such as being more cost-effective for customers than regular brick-and-mortar casinos. By cost-effective, we mean that it saves time from travelling there and back home again and money from food and drinks available. Online casinos, meanwhile, have the benefit of being time efficient, can be played comfortably anywhere as long as you have a device and functioning internet access and offer enticing bonuses and offers for players.

National legislation in the UK can also be attributed to the spread and further development of online gambling in Wales. It has allowed the passing of liberal acts that will enable the online gambling industry to grow and give UK citizens tools to help them avoid complex compulsive gambling problems.

Another factor for the widespread online gaming has been the COVID-19 epidemic and its resulting quarantine measures. Amongst its many consequences, there has been a major increase in online gaming during reclusion, not just in Wales but all over the UK. However, this has come with its share of problems, such as online gambling addiction and relapses from recovering gambling addicts.

Online gaming has come to Wales, and it is here to stay.

5: Dw i’n hoffi casinos

With more than half a million people in Wales that are fluent in Welsh, there is a likely chance that Welsh language options could become a possibility in online gambling services. Currently, there are few options available in Welsh, but voice recognition software like Common Voice includes Welsh language recognition options.

Given the popularity of online gambling services in Wales, there is a likely chance that online gambling services will be made available in Welsh and English sooner rather than later. Even though one never knows, it is always fun to speculate on the future.

What do you think could be the next big gambling event in Wales? Feel free to speculate and let us know in the comments.