|Yes, chance as we know it was developed in Renaissance Italy, by Bernouilli, specifically.|
He was the one who postulated risk versus rewards on a rational cost-benefit basis as a form of betting.
The only problem is that real people don't really behave that way...
This is the story behind Kahneman winning the EconomicsNobel as a research psychologist, which is my chosen field of endeavor. Briefly, most people practice risk aversion when confronted with an odds-favorable bet. OTH, a small percentage of people are natural gamblers who bet compulsively, even when the odds are stacked against them.
That most people do not perform a 'Bernouilli' when confronted with a risk-laden choice is the present-day basis for sinking the economic theory known as 'rational expectations' dead in the water.
Besides this, the notion that pre-Rennaissance people, everywhere, did not indulge in economic risk-taking sounds a bit far-fetched, to say the least. For example, the ancient greecian pipples (my ancestors, maternally speaking) built many, many boats that sailed the two great lakes (Med & Black) in order to trade wine, oil, spice, slaves, exotic woods, you name it.
'Fraid that your guy is telescoping history in order to make some kind of point.