Betting During Roman Empire

Betting During Roman Empire

During the reign of the Roman Empire, gambling was one of their favorite past times and there were even some Roman emperors that would have made for very good candidates for any gamblers anonymous groups. Those people simply loved gambling and yet, were only allowed to gamble during certain days and on certain events. Betting on dice games could even get them sent to jail. There was one day however that ordinary folks could blow off some steam and gamble in everything and that was during the Saturnalia which was a carnival feast.

They might have had the law that prohibited gambling but it seemed that this law wasn’t always followed or even feared at that since people would play dice anyway especially the emperors who seemed to have an unhealthy fondness for gambling. One emperor named Augustus who did not even bother to restrict his gambling to the Saturnalia but to all other feasts and carnival days as well. He also reportedly threw gambling parties for his family and friends and even admitted in one of his letters that he made some heavy gambling losses.

Another emperor who loved gambling was Nero who was a great lover of several kinds of sports and games and thus became famous for his betting and high stakes. Another Emperor named Claudius had a special table made so that he could play gambling games while he was in a carriage. Why, he was even rumored to have written a book about the subject of playing dice for which he was condemned for by somebody named Seneca.

It was obvious that the Romans and their emperors liked to gamble; especially when it was on games of dice. Although they had laws, it seemed that they loved it so much that they were more than willing to overlook the laws.


Art Aronson is a tenured bottom-line professional sports handicapper. He is the best ROI handicapper in the business. He is not your typical handicapper.

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