Something that often surprises people is the fact that pretty much all gambling that took place before the 16th century would have been technically illegal, mainly because it wasn’t until the 1500s that the first genuinely regulated and legitimate casino in the world was established.
Gambling before then could be a fairly risky business, therefore, as you could never really be certain that you would ever receive your rightful winnings.
Nowadays most gambling takes place in fully regulated and legal brick and mortar casinos, or indeed casino online sites, however, there is still a huge market for illegal gambling in underground casinos, especially in countries where casino gambling is still largely illegal.
Funny enough, underground casinos couldn’t really be much further in appearance to the huge and decadent legitimate casinos in the world, however, for some gamblers, this just makes things even more exciting.
Read on to find out what’s going on in underground casinos these days.
What are underground casinos?
Judging by the name you could be tempted into thinking that underground casinos are just casinos that reside underground, however, this is slightly off the mark. In reality, underground casinos are simply establishments that operate outside the realms of the law, and in many cases, they will therefore be hidden away.
You are not likely to see anything like the sites in Las Vegas or Macau at an underground casino for this very reason, however, gamblers still flock to these places due to the fact that there are no regulations, and therefore a little more freedom than usual.
A brief history of illegal casino gambling
Legitimate brick and mortar casinos are so popular these days, so it is surprising to learn that they were largely illegal in most places in the world before the 20th century.
Oh yes, back in the 1800s, for example, gambling had been outlawed across America, and also in most parts of Western Europe too.
Gambling at this time, therefore, pretty much had to be done in underground casinos, and this is where modern underground casinos have their foundations.
Underground casinos and gang culture
Unfortunately, underground casinos have ended up being a bit of a haven for gangs across the world, and most of the illegal gambling rings have at least some kind of connection with gang culture. This is definitely one of the biggest downsides of underground casinos, as they can often be putting money directly into the pockets of hardened criminals.
Moreover, underground casinos are the best place for criminals to go and gamble with their dirty cash, something that keeps the black market economy thriving.
And what is the main reason why criminal gangs establish underground casinos?
Money laundering of course! Of course, money earned from illegal gambling is still illegal money, however, underground casinos are often the first point of call for criminals looking to clean their money and obscure the trail of exactly where it came from.