Whites, a “Gentlemen’s” Club, established in 1693, kept a book of all of the bets its members made.
In November 1754, Lord Montford bet Sir Jno. Bland one hundred guineas that Mr (Beau) Nash would outlive Mr Cibber, an actor. Unfortunately, both Lord Montfort and Mr Cibber took their own lives before the bet was decided.
From the Morning Chronicle, 26 March 1811
A blacksmith at Stroud ate on Tuesday, for a trifling wager, a pint of periwinkles with the shells, in the space of ten minutes. Being desired to repeat this disgusting feat he readily did it, but he is now so dangerously ill that he is not expected to recover.
According to Plutarch, Mercury and the Moon played dice and Mercury won one seventieth of the Moon’s light.
The Bible does not mention gambling as a sin. It does however, mention gambling twice; that Samson makes a bet with his groomsman and loses and where an officer of the Assyrian King makes a bet with King Hezekiah of Judah, “I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them”.
The symbols "+" and "-" first appeared in an unpublished manuscript by German mathematician Regiomontanus in 1456. Their first appearance in print was in a mercantile handbook by Johannes Widmann, printed in Leipzig in 1489.
In July 1891, Charles Wells “broke the bank at Monte Carlo”. Only he didn’t. He won all of the value chips on the table, about $20,000. Wells was a con man, playing with swindled money and despite “breaking the bank “ eleven more times, he lost it all back and more. He was arrested for fraud, found guilty and sentenced to eight years in prison.
The symbols for multiplication "x" and division "÷" did not appear until 1631 and 1659 respectively.
Cicero viewed gambling as superstition; he disliked it because he thought it was an attempt to force the hand of the gods.
In Rome, in 81 BC laws were passed such that creditors could not sue for gambling debts, but losers could sue to have their losses returned.
Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire (1757 – 1806) was a keen gambler. When she died, it is said she owed more than £3 million in today’s money.