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What's the origin of the phrase 'on the game', applied to prostitution?

asked in origins, phrase, prostitute

athenabs13ohe answers:

This is the closest i could find re your question.

Game or "the game"-The life of a **** and his prostitutes. It is viewed as an exciting game between the players in the life. Taking women from each other, outwitting the police and living dangerously.


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Arellia answers:

It has something to do with "daughters of the game" 1606 SHAKES. Tr. & Cr. IV. v. 63 Set them downe For sluttish spoyles of opportunitie; and daughters of the game. (from OED)

In modern English 'daughter of the game' does not imply simply that she knows how to flirt and turn meetings into sexual encounters but that she is 'on the game', a prostitute

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