Some distinguished members of sovereignty were addicted to the game.
King Henry VIII of England was an imprudent gamester. He lost Jesus Belhi of St. Paul’s Cathedral at Sir Miles Partridge. Henry IV of France was not only a dissolute gambler, he was a thief. He hired professional gamblers to defraud members of his own court.
When King Charles V of France held the city of Orange in a siege, the commanding officer of his army played with and lost soldiers’ pay. Charles was forced to yield.
Afterwards, members of the French cavalry were forbidden to play; the punishment for disobeying was death.
Playing in Europe has gained periodic and lost popularity during the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century until the advent of big gambling houses that became so fashionable with royalty and kind society.
Francois Blanc, a crooked stock market player, built a successful casino in Luxembourg and later built the magnificent casino in Baden-Baden, Germany. Rich people from all over Europe flocked to the city at the gambling announcement to enjoy the healing waters of the spa.
In the early 1860s, playing was forbidden in Italy and in France; in accordance with the advice of his mother, Caroline, Prince Charles II of Monaco decided that the only way he could earn money from the rocky 368 acres of the coastline was to build a casino.
In 1863, Blanc was commissioned by the Grimaldi family to build a casino in the principality of Monaco, all of which were to the left of the great estates of the Grimaldi family.
In Monte Carlo, Blanc has built both an opulent casino and the hotel. The casino was a hit at night. The Prince of Wales has often played there, as Emperor Franz Josef.
Czar Nicholas and Leopold II of Belgium were frequent guests as well. Rich Americans traveling in Europe discovered that Monte Carlo and their enthusiasm for this stylish type of gambling establishment were responsible, in part, for John Morrissey’s decision to build the Club House in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Gambling casinos are still permitted today, most notably in Europe in Germany, Monte Carlo, Austria and Great Britain. Britain legalized the game in the 1960s so that churches could raise funds through games like bingo.
But loopholes in the law allowed private clubs to offer games of chance. By the end of the decade, there were over a thousand gambling casinos in Great Britain.
Game proved to be so lucrative a venture that bookie joints were legalized; also, it has become an established and acceptable way to earn revenues.