The world of gambling is full of excitement and intrigue. But if you’ve been around for a while, you might want to learn more. If that is the case, learn about…
Top 20 Crazy Facts About Gambling
Gambling is one of the favorite pastimes for millions of people from around the world. And that has been the case for as long as we can trace our history. So with so many centuries of experience, one might think that everyone knows everything about games of chance. However, the opposite is actually true. Most people know next to nothing about the gambling world, even those that enjoy playing.
Some of these facts are simply obscure, while others were hidden away thanks to numerous myths that people believed to be true. So let’s go through some of the most interesting gambling facts.
20. Las Vegas Is Not the Gambling Capital of the World
While Las Vegas definitely is the most famous city to play in, it’s by no means the most important one. To be fair, this might be a bit subjective. And a lot of people still believe Vegas to be the place to go to. But when it comes to hard numbers, Macau has Las Vegas beat by a landslide.
Macau is an autonomous region of China. Now, gambling as such is illegal in China. But Macau has the level of autonomy that allows it to avoid such restrictions. And over the years, a lot of investors have started developing their businesses in this region. Nowadays, the famous Cotai Strip holds the largest casino in the world. And if you ever get the chance to go there, you will be completely astonished by the Venetian Macao Casino. The casino in question is so large that, in terms of square footage, it is the seventh biggest building in the entire world.
19. The Self-Exclusion Rule
Some people seem to believe that casinos around the world act as death traps for their visitors. That once you get in, there is no way out, and that they will drain you of every penny you have. But that isn’t quite true. In fact, even if you do develop an addiction to gambling, there is a way for you to use the casino rules to your advantage. A lot of countries demand that casinos offer help to problem gamblers. So if you are having an issue with problem gambling, you can always just ask the casino to ban you.
In essence, this self-exclusion policy can work as a tool that allows you to quit playing quite quickly.
18. Nikola Tesla Was a Problem Gambler
According to several sources, Nikola Tesla had an issue when he was young. Namely, he was a big fan of card games. So much so that his addiction was allegedly one of the reasons why he had to drop out of school. Thankfully for the entire world, he has bounced back and managed to continue in his scientific pursuits.
17. Accidental Millionaire
A woman in North Carolina was in a fight with her husband about him wasting money buying lottery tickets. So to prove her point about how bad of a waste of money those tickets were, she bought one. And believe it or not, once she scratched the ticket, she was happy to see that she had won a million dollars. Apparently, that was one argument she was more than happy to have lost.
16. Gambling Saved FedEx
FedEx is a huge company these days. But like any other company, they had to begin small. So when the company was down to its last $5,000 and had to promptly pay the $24,000 bill to cover the fuel expenses, the CEO of the company, Frederick Smith, decided that the fastest way to get the money was to risk it all in a casino in Vegas. Luckily for FedEx, he managed to more than quintuple his beginning bankroll.
15. The Japanese Workaround
For the longest time, gambling in Japan was illegal if there were cash rewards. But some gambling parlors found a quite interesting workaround. Namely, instead of giving out money, they would reward winners with various prizes or tokens. Then, those who would win could leave the “casino floor” and go to a separate parlor to “sell” their prizes for cash.
14. That One Time the Lottery Jackpot Was Too Valuable
When it comes to the lottery, jackpots can get to quite high sums. But in the history of gambling, there are only a handful of cases where those jackpots would support a guaranteed victory. In this case, a gambling syndicate from Australia pulled a lot of funds together and invested $5 million into buying pretty much every possible combination for the lottery. The jackpot for that round was $27 million. Needless to say, they found a way to safely increase their investment five-fold.
13. The Rise and Fall of Archie Karas
Anargyros Nicholas Karabourniotis was a famous gambler for the most interesting of reasons. Back in 1992, he went to Vegas with only 50 bucks in his wallet. He took a loan of $10,000 and started gambling. What followed was an incredible 3-year long win streak, something that is unlikely to happen again in the foreseeable future.
Unfortunately for him, the need for gambling doesn’t go away once you win it big. He kept gambling until he lost all of his money. He didn’t even save a single million.
12. Australians Love Gambling
While the most famous gambling city in the world is Las Vegas and the biggest casino lies in Macau, the people who love gambling the most are none other than Australians. In fact, nobody spends nearly as much money per capita as Australians.
11. Breast Implants for Brian Zembic
Gamblers don’t have to go to casinos to get their fixes. Some of them just enjoy friendly bets too much. In this case, Brian Zembic was famous for doing pretty much anything for a bet. To win a particular wager, he had to get breast implants and keep them for at least a year. Not too difficult for a prize of $100,000.
10. People from Monaco Can’t Gamble
Monaco is one of the best locations in the world that a gambler can visit. It is the go-to place for insanely rich people who want to have a good time. But did you know that even with all the riches and the beautiful casinos, the citizens of Monaco aren’t allowed to gamble in their venues? In fact, if they want to gamble, they have to take an international trip.
9. Double or Nothing
A dream of every gambler is to make it big by betting it all on a single field in Roulette. Well, in the case of Ashley Revel, it’s exactly what happened. Ashley sold all of his possessions with intent of wagering it all. He managed to gather up $135,000, and he put it all on a single “red” spin. Luckily for him, the ball did land on a 7 red, and he got paid even money.
8. Roulette and the Number of the Beast
Roulette is a helluva lot of fun. And that goes well with the fact that all the numbers on the roulette wheel add up to the number of the beast. Namely, when you add them all up, you end up with 666. This just proves that the creator of this game has a good sense of humor.
7. Gambling Is the Reason We Have Sandwiches
We have all heard about the origin story of the sandwich and John Montagu, the father of the concept. But did you know that the reason why he had to eat with just one hand and avoid getting the other hand dirty was the fact that he loved playing card games? So he simply asked for his meat to come in-between two slices of bread.
6. The Atomic Bomb as an Advertising Tool
Back in the early fifties, the US government used to test bombs only 65 miles away from downtown Las Vegas. And in the true Vegas fashion, the casinos used that fact to make a quick profit. The tests quickly became a tourist attraction they used to advertise their venues, and they even made special parties with the “atomic” theme.
5. Poker Slang in Everyday Life
If you’ve spent any time reading about the business world, you might have encountered the term “blue-chip company.” That term actually comes from poker. The main reason is that, during the late nineteenth century, poker used to be played with chips in three colors — white, red, and blue. The colors were chosen for the patriotic connection to the red, white, and blue colors of the USA flag. Out of the three chips, the blue ones were the most valuable bunch. So that term stuck as a one that denotes something that is very valuable. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that “blue-chip stocks” and “blue-chip companies” are terms that denote successful business venues.
4. Using the Power of Gambling for Good
In Finland, all gambling is under the strict control of the government. And that is not all — any and all profits made this way go straight to charity. In essence, the gambling habits of the Finnish people are what funds their health and welfare systems. They even use that money to pay for treatments of problem gamblers.
3. The Nevada Prison Casino
For a period of 35 years, the Nevada State Prison offered their inmates a chance to gamble in the prison casino. Inmates could enjoy betting on craps, blackjack, and even sports games. They could also sit down and play poker for a while. However, the main idea behind organizing a gambling center in a prison was that it would help keep the inmates from causing trouble.
2. The Smallest Casino
To be fair, the casino we will mention now is a promotional stunt. But even with that in mind, we simply have to mention the smallest casino in the world. It doesn’t even have an address. And the reason is quite simple — One London casino (The Grosvenor) decided to launch a “mobile casino.” Basically, they equipped the back seat of a cab with everything you might want to see in your casino. It features a gaming table, a dealer, a bar, and they even show sports games. Moreover, if you want the cab to take you to their casino, it will do so free of charge.
1. The Famous “Las Vegas” Sign Is Not Actually in Vegas
Now, this is the crazy fact that we had trouble believing ourselves. But the popular sign really isn’t in Las Vegas. It has been in its place for over six decades, and people just love seeing it. However, what people don’t know is that it is about 4 miles too far to be in Las Vegas and is actually in the town called Paradise. And to make this fact even crazier, even Downtown Las Vegas and a big chunk of “The Strip” are out of the city limits too.
Even the insanely famous casinos like MGM Grand, Wynn, and Ceasars Palace are technically in Paradise. But to be fair, with a name like that, nobody would mind going there to gamble.