It is funny to think that, up until the 1600s, all gambling that took place anywhere in the world would have been classed as illegal. Sure, it definitely existed; however, the state was rarely involved, meaning that gambling taverns and such throughout history often weren’t the safest of places. Nowadays, of course, gambling is anything but illegal, and it actually makes up a fairly sizable portion of the tax revenue that governments depend on across the globe. Whilst pretty much all gamblers will agree that the casino conditions in the present day are much better than that of the early days of gambling where it had to be done strictly in secret, the bad side is that there are now an almost infinite amount of regulations to get your head around. Ultimately, these are all put in place to protect gamblers as well as legal operations like Swedish casino but it can still be an annoying framework.

Hence, many avid gamblers are still seeking to experience their hobby without the somewhat strangling grasp of the various betting regulations we see these days. But this is easier said than done – government clampdowns on illegal gambling have steadily risen over the years, probably because the money in the industry continues to skyrocket. Still, it is entirely possible to gamble without the restrictions put in place by government entities and the like; however, you must also be aware that this is an illegal practice and could have serious consequences. Gamblers who are willing to take the risk will want to head to what many people call an underground casino; a place that the long arm of the law is yet to find. But what actually goes on in these places? Read ahead to find out.  

What Exactly Are Underground Casinos?

So, what exactly are underground casinos? Well, they are certainly not just casinos that happen to exist underground, although we are willing to bet that many of these places are, in fact, literally underground. The term underground casino is usually given to any gambling establishment that remains off the beaten track and, of course, exempt from any of the legal frameworks that govern genuine legal casinos.

As you might imagine, these places are generally rather dingy, taking the shape of an underground cellar or secret backroom in a bar. One thing is certain: underground casinos are leagues away from the decadent beacons of luxury one can find in places such as Las Vegas, Monte Carlo or Macau. The trade-off, however, is a gambling experience unaffected by regulations, something that means that some scarily big jackpots can be obtained. 

A History Of Illegal Casino Gambling 

In order to properly understand what goes on in underground casinos today, it is well worth taking a step back and looking into the history of illegal casino gambling. As we explained in the introduction to this article, gambling at one point was illegal pretty much everywhere on Earth; so, funnily enough, even the origins of legal gambling can be traced back to breaking the law. The first time illegal gambling became a proper entity in its own right, however, was during the 1800s, where most European countries outlawed gambling, sending all the official casinos underground, or to places like Monte Carlo.

Similarly, in America, at the start of the 20th century, gambling was outlawed across the country – something that proved to be integral to the illegal gambling explosion. Did you know, for instance, that the first slot machines were all created illegally? In fact, Charles D. Fey, the inventor of the Liberty Bell slot, could not even patent his invention for fears he would be prosecuted. Illegal gambling, therefore, has always been around; however, the underground casinos of the 21st century are able to take in a lot more money than ever before. 

Underground Casinos & Gangs 

One of the biggest problems associated with underground casinos is the fact that they regularly become a hotbed for criminal gangs. You must have heard about the extent of the Mafia and other gangs’ involvement in Las Vegas around the 1950s and 1960s. They pretty much ran the casinos in this period, something that still happens in underground casinos today. Now, the problems of this are tenfold, but the biggest is the fact that these illegal gambling operations often fund a gang’s violent behavior.

Underground casinos are also the perfect place for gang members to go and gamble with their dirty money, as they would not be able to do so in officially governed casinos. This, in turn, keeps the black market economy rolling, something that can only really be a bad thing. 

Money Laundering 

As a fallout phenomenon, underground casinos can also be used as money laundering centers, although they are usually just the first stage in the process, as money made from illegal gambling is also illegal. Regardless, these places are still the first point of call for many criminals that are trying to clean their money, providing a pretty indispensable service.

This is actually one of the main reasons why the authorities put so much effort into stamping underground casinos out. Without them, gangs would struggle to launder their cash so effectively. 

Fewer Slot Regulations

It is far from uncommon to find underground casinos that just resemble huge slots halls, but the difference here is that these slot machines are often rigged so that they don’t have to adhere to the very strict slot regulations set out by the gambling commission. This means that there are no maximum line bets, for instance, something that consequentially results in some huge jackpots. 

The bad side, however, is that without these slot regulations that are ultimately put in place to protect the gambler, slot machine players can get taken advantage of. There is no way of knowing if the slot machine you are playing is a fair play, for example. Moreover, you can never guarantee that you will actually get your well-earned money at underground casinos, as there are no authorities to ensure this happens.