Forms of gambling have existed for as long as people are here on earth. It exists in every age, culture and civilization. Research of anthropologists from the 20th century indicates that in all the great societies that ever existed gambling was taken place. Materials connected to gambling were found in India, Egypt, Rome and ancient China from 2300 BC. In Thebes archeologists found a set of ivory dice from before 1500 BC and specific writings connected to gambling were discovered in the Pyramid of Cheops. Many stories go around about the love of gambling by the Romans. One of the most famous stories is that Julius Caesar and his friend Marc Antony played dice or bet on rooster fights in their free time. Another is about the emperor Claudius who had his chariot specially made to be able to play dice while he was traveling.

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  • Almost everyone has trouble understanding the huge and tiny numbers involved in gambling odds. But learning about these odds has convinced many people that gambling is not the harmless pastime they thought it was. The main thing to understand is that the odds always favor the house. For example, the house's take on a slot machine can be as high as 35%. This means that if you bet ten dollars, you can expect to walk away with only $6.50; if you bet $100, you can expect to keep only $65, and so forth. The more you play, the more you lose. Although some gamblers are ahead temporarily, in the long run the odds will prevail, and the gambler will lose. This simple principle explains why the casinos take in so much money. The Foxwoods casino in Connecticut, for example, netted--and gamblers there lost--about $500 million in 1994 .

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