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The History of Gambling

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The lottery is a popular form of gambling. Millions of people buy tickets every week. Those who win often spend their prize money on expensive items. The lottery is a way for states to raise funds for a variety of public projects.

Lotteries have been around for centuries. Their origins can be traced back to the Roman Empire. In the 15th century, a number of towns in the Netherlands held a public lottery. These lotteries raised funds for poor people and for a wide range of public purposes.

In the 17th century, several colonies held lotteries during the French and Indian Wars. These lotteries were tolerated in some cases, while others were regarded as a form of taxation.

Alexander Hamilton wrote that people would be willing to pay a small sum for a chance at considerable gain. He believed that lottery profits were a good source of revenue for states. He also noted that the tickets were sold by brokers, who hired runners to sell them.

Lotteries were hailed as a simple and painless way to raise funds for public projects. The first known lottery in Europe was organized by Roman Emperor Augustus. It was called “Loterie de Saturnalia.”

In the 17th century, a number of colonies held lotteries. These lotteries raised funds for the colonial army, roads, and canals. In the 1750s, the Academy Lottery financed the University of Pennsylvania. In 1758, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts used a lottery to raise money for the “Exposure against Canada.”

In 1769, Col. Bernard Moore’s “Slave Lottery” advertised prizes such as land and slaves.