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Gaming vs. Gambling: What’s the Difference?

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In the spring of 1638, the city of Venice, Italy, opened Il Ridotto, a government-sanctioned gaming parlor. City leaders hoped that by doing so they could regulate games of chance and prevent illegal gambling.

Gaming is popular these days, too. In fact, sports bettors can easily take part in gaming activities online. For example, using smartphones and other electronic devices, they can go to PA betting sites. Here, they will find a variety of entertainment options such as betting on live sports events and even on entire sports seasons.

Is There a Difference Between Gaming and Gambling?

Some speakers of English make a distinction between gaming and gambling. Gaming, they say, consists of legal activities, such as betting on the outcome of sports competitions.

Gambling, on the other hand, refers to illegal, non-regulated hustles in which con artists take advantage of the unwary.

And as we all know, “gaming” in the digital age has taken on yet another meaning, referring to the video games many enjoy today.


While the city leaders in 17th century Venice ostensibly hoped to squelch illegal gambling, they also required the wearing of masks and three-cornered hats for entry into their new gaming hall’s sumptuous interior, in effect barring the city’s poor. Therefore, illegal wagering very likely continued unabated in the city’s dark corners among the less fortunate. In other words, unregulated gambling continued.

Gaming and Gambling Have Been Around for a Long Time

Games of chance are probably as old as humankind. In fact, researchers have found small animal bones from the Stone Age that appear to have been used much like dice are used today. Back then, participants surely gave little thought to whether they were participating in legal gaming or illegal gambling. They were just having a bit of fun, a break from the hardships of their lives.

A few centuries later, playing cards were invented in China. Writings from the period of the Tang dynasty (about 900 AD) describe a “leaf game” associated with alcoholic drinking. The leaves in question might have been actual green leaves, or they might have been sheets of paper. Scholars are unsure. However, they generally agree that in either case, players used them to play card games similar to the card games many people enjoy today.

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Gaming Is Legal at PA Betting Sites

Successful entrepreneurs are often risk-takers by nature. Perhaps it is this quality that draws them toward gaming.


But regardless of whether you call it gaming or gambling, watching sports and betting on the outcome can be fun and relaxing. It can give you a much-needed break from the stress of running your business.

So just pick up your smartphone and place a wager at a PA betting site. It’s entertaining, it’s legal, and it will make the game you’re watching that much more fun.


Games of chance have been around since the dawn of human history and they are still with us today. So whether you call it gaming or gambling, keep it fun and keep it safe, and never bet more than you can afford to lose.

For more articles geared toward the interests of small-business owners, be sure to browse our blog often.