The Victorians loved to gamble, and the richer they were the more they enjoyed it. This leads to the development of horseracing, the popularity of blackjack and, sometimes, massive debts. High stakes games among the rich entirely eclipsed the minor peccadillos of the poor. They turned a pastime into a vice and squeezed themselves with it. This assures these scandals of 19th century gambling still have an ongoing effect on the UK gambling laws sites like Bet365 operate under.
As gin was the ruination of the lower classes so gambling was the ruination of the upper class. Or at least so we’re told of 19th century gambling. The images this conjures are of large country estates and the idle rich spending their evenings gaming in smoke-filled rooms whilst women were elsewhere doing embroidery. This isn’t entirely misleading. Gaming was a massive passion for the well-to-do in Britain, and an almost universal pastime making some and breaking others.
This is the era Vingt Et Un rose in popularity. The object to get 21 and no more still the focus of Blackjack today. Indeed Baccarat too stems from this era, as does its affluent connotations. However, away from the gambling tables of the new casinos which sprung up, Victorians liked their sports. Those who bet on sports in the UK today are following a glorious tradition blossoming from 19th century gambling. This is nowhere more obvious than horseracing.
Victorians Bring In Horseracing And Vingt Et Un
Whilst naturally there had been horse races and betting upon them before, the Victorians made a day of it. Huge race meetings became the norm with annual events like Epsom Derby and Grand National. This was massively appealing to Victorians who saw themselves as living in an age of reason, science and culture. Far from mere chance, horseracing was a form of 19th century gambling they could analyze and quantify. This did little, however, to disguise their losses.
Victorian Gambling Games
- Vingt Et Un
Scandals were commonplace. Fortunes were won, and by dint of that, also lost. They also occurred when people cheated. Sir William Gordon-Cumming did so in company of the Prince of Wales leading to the Tranby Croft Affair. The fact Baccarat was illegal gave this royal court fracas bite. It would be nearly a century until Baccarat would be available at online betting sites in the UK like Bet365. The connotation of it as a rich man’s game is also still present.
19th Century Gambling Still Effects Bet365 Today
Not that the rich were content with just games and sports. Wagers on just about anything seemed all too frequent. Records show London clubs for the wealthy in which members bet on which other members would die within a year. Then again they also bet on royal children, illegitimate or otherwise, and how long they might not gamble for. 19th century gambling knew no bounds. One man bet another Empress Marie Louise is in Paris before Emperor Napoleon is in her person.
Jane Austen – Mansfield Park
“Whist and speculation; which will amuse me most?”
This sounds bawdy but we still bet on the timing of royal births, if not still on the inception at online sportsbook sites in the UK. Throughout 19th century gambling the theme is one of excess when the hypocrisy of the rich was writ large enough for all to see it. Prohibitions and laws saw a demonization of gambling amongst the poor, mostly because of the example set by the rich. Most of who, alas, then promptly ignored their own counsel and got into even more hot water.
We take a look at 19th century gambling habits amongst the rich as the Victorians take a punt on the horses.