The precise origin of gambling is unknown. It is generally believed that gambling in some form or another has been seen in almost every society in history. From Ancient Mesopotamia, Greeks and Romans to Napoleon's France and Elizabethan England, much of history is filled with stories of entertainment based on games of chance. The first known European gambling house, not called a casino although meeting the modern definition, was the Ridotto, established in Venice, Italy, in 1638 by the Great Council of Venice to provide controlled gambling during the carnival season. It was closed in 1774 as the city government felt it was impoverishing the local gentry.