VI. page 1
It seems that the rise of modern gaming in England may be dated
from the year 1777 or 1778.
Before this time gaming appears never to have assumed an alarming
aspect. The methodical system of partnership, enabling men to
embark large capital in gambling establishments, was unknown;
though from that period this system became the special
characteristic of the pursuit among all classes of the community.
The development of the evil was a subject of great concern to
thoughtful men, and one of these, in the year 1784, put forth a
pamphlet, which seems to give `the very age and body of the time,
his form and pressure.'
 The pamphlet (in the Library of the British Museum) is
entitled:--`Hints for a Reform, particularly of the Gaming Clubs.
By a Member of Parliament. 1784.'
`About thirty years ago,' says this writer, `there was but
one club in the metropolis. It was regulated and respectable.
There were few of the members who betted high. Such stakes at
present would be reckoned very low indeed. There were then
assemblies once a week in most of the great houses. An agreeable
society met at seven o'clock; they played for crowns or half-
crowns; and reached their own houses about eleven.