Crazy Gambling Facts You Might Not Have Heard About

Casinos are abundant with weird and wonderful tales, which makes them such interesting places! The allure of casinos gets everyone talking. Even the most seasoned casino players would be surprised to hear some facts about the gambling industry. Whether you’re an online casino fanatic or prefer the brick-and-mortar atmosphere, we’ve got some interesting nuggets of knowledge for you to discover.

Let’s take a look at some crazy gambling facts that you might not have heard about.

Crazy Gambling Facts

1. A Nevada state prison once had a casino for inmates

This might sound will and far-fetched, but it’s true! Mind you, the US state of Nevada is synonymous with gambling, so it kind of makes sense that its very own prison would also have a casino – but this did actually happen! In fact, the state prison had a casino inside its walls for 35 years. The inmates were allowed to play blackjack, craps, and poker, as well as place bets on sports in the “Bullpen.” (One wonders what “casino rewards” it must have offered!) Alas, when the prison hired a new warden, he shut down the casino.

2. A car mechanic created the first modern slot machine

Charles Fey, a car mechanic, created the first true slot machine in 1887 in the US. He noticed that his customers were bored while waiting for their vehicle repairs. This inspired him to create a machine with three spinning reels that contained five symbols, including diamonds (as in the playing card suit), horseshoes, spades, hearts, and a Liberty Bell. The slot machine was actually called Liberty Bell.

3. Blackjack originated in France

One of the most popular table games at online casinos is live blackjack, but have you ever wondered where the game originated from? Well, it came from the French card game called “Vingt-et-un”, which translates to “21”. Napoleon Bonaparte was also known to enjoy blackjack and played the game quite frequently. The name “blackjack” was invented in the 20th century.

4. There is a ‘casino-hopping’ Guinness World Record

Yes, it’s true. There is a Guinness World Record for the most casinos visited within 24 hours. Gary Meyer and Kimo Ah Yun (both from the US) hold the record for visiting 74 casinos within 24 hours. Now, that takes some dedication! 

5. Casinos are illegal in Japan

Casinos might be illegal in Japan, but there is a loophole that enables casino players a chance to experience the fun. As you might have seen in films, Pachinko parlours are all the craze in Japan. The slot-like game awards players silver balls, and players can exchange the balls for alcohol, toys, or other prizes. 

6. Penny slot machines are where the money resides for casinos

Don’t underestimate the worth of a penny. It turns out that penny slots are the most profitable games for the casino industry in America. Many casino owners believe the early 2000s recession is to thank for the rise in popularity of penny slots. 

7. It’s harder to win at American roulette than European roulette

Roulette originates in France, and the American version of the game was tweaked to include 38, rather than 37, spaces for the ball to potentially land on. On an American roulette wheel, as well as the numbered slots from one to 36, you’ll see a ‘’00’’ pocket in addition to the ‘’0’’. This makes it slightly harder to land any given number you place a bet on when compared with the European wheel. So the next time you decide to play live roulette, make sure that you know the difference between American and European roulette!

8. British casinos boomed in London

London took over from the Somerset spa town of Bath as the epicentre for casinos. Dedicated gaming houses began to spring up from a wide range of sources. 

9. A woman received the first gambling licence

In 1920, the first gambling licence was issued to a woman by the name of Mayme Stocker. She owned the Northern Club in Fremont Street, Las Vegas. Players at her club had access to casino games such as stud poker, draw poker, lowball poker, 500, and bridge.

10. Las Vegas isn’t the world’s gambling capital

You’d be forgiven if you thought that Las Vegas was the world’s gambling capital, as it’s always portrayed in Hollywood films. However, the Chinese special administrative region of Macau proudly holds this title and is home to the world’s largest gambling community in the world. It’s located west of the Pearl River estuary in Guangdong Province, 40 nautical miles west of Hong Kong – and according to Statista, Macau was home to 41 casinos as of 2020.

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