Facts About Casinos

Facts About Casinos

Plenty of magic happens at casinos, so it won’t surprise you that there are all sorts of fun facts concerning gambling venues. From the biggest ever win to the bizarre sum of numbers on the roulette wheel and more, we’ve compiled the very best facts about casinos for you. If you fancy some light reading and a touch of something different, find out more.

Interesting Facts

We’ve scouted through hundreds of pages of casino facts for USA players to bring you the very best bits. Not all casino facts are exciting; in fact, most of them aren’t. However, while researching the best and most fun facts about casinos, we jotted down any that stuck in our heads for one reason or another.

If you want to learn about the smallest and largest casinos, prison casinos, and the oldest casino ever, you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s not hold you back anymore; let’s dive straight in without some of the quirkier and exciting facts about life in the casino world.

Saving the Company Thanks to the Game in Vegas

Arguably one of the more fun facts about casinos for USA players is the tale of how FedEx’s founder once saved the company by gambling in Las Vegas. It’s true! In the early days of the business, Frederick Smith’s Federal Express was on the verge of bankruptcy. With just five grand left in the bank, Smith jetted off to Vegas to presumably squander what was left of FedEx at the blackjack table. He returned on Monday with $32,000 in the kitty. That was just enough to fuel their planes temporarily, while Smith managed to raise $11 million to keep the company going until it made its first profit.

Nevada Prison Used to Have a Casino

For thirty-five years, even the inmates in Nevada could gamble. Prison inmates ran their own gambling operation from 1932 until 1967 while outside the foundation for what would become Las Vegas was just getting started. It wasn’t licensed or regulated, and that’s how it managed to stay open for business. Sports betting, blackjack, poker, craps, and other games were all available in this venue, while the authorities generally turned a blind eye.

Nevada Prison casino
Nevada prison really did use to have its own casino, of sorts

The Smallest Casino Is in the Back of a London Taxi

As far as odd facts about gambling establishments go, there is a good one tied to the UK broadcaster ITV. Apparently, the world-famous Grosvenor Casino opened up the world’s smallest casino in the back of a Birmingham taxi. It was, of course, a televised event and publicity stunt to celebrate gambling, but it still needed to receive a license; it was, technically, a casino and the world’s smallest to boot.

The Sum of All Roulette Numbers is 666

Did you know that if you add up all the numbers on a roulette wheel, you’ll come up with 666? This isn’t an urban legend; it’s actually true. For this very reason, roulette is often called The Devil’s Game. How about that?

Casinos First Appeared in Italy

The very first recognized casino in the world was founded in Italy. Known as the Casino de Venezia, it is still open for business today. However, this Venice-based casino hasn’t always been a casino; it has hosted other events since it was launched.

The Biggest Casino Win is $39.7 Million

Looking for more crazy facts about casinos? How about the biggest-ever jackpot win? You might assume that it would have occurred at the best online gambling sites. It didn’t, though. The biggest ever jackpot win at a casino stands at $39.7 million and was won in the Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas back in 2003. The bettor dropped just $100 on the Megabucks slot to land their staggering prize. It’s never been beaten.

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While we’re looking at epic wins, it would be wrong not to consider the biggest-ever jackpot wins in the online casino world. Here are a few of the more interesting, noteworthy prizes that have been paid out over the years.

Online Slot MachineBiggest Ever WinYear of Payout
Mega Moolah€18 million2018
Mega Fortune€17.8 million2013
Hall of Gods€7.8 million2017
Gladiator Jackpot£2.3 million2013
The Dark Knight*$7.8 million2016

* This slot is no longer active

Length of the Longest-Ever Poker Game

We’re not quite sure just how long poker used to last when it first started, but we do know how long it lasts (on average) today. According to the Guinness Book of Records, though, the longest-ever poker game lasted over 14 years at West Virginia’s Dun Glen Hotel. The inflation alone probably kept players in the game.

How Much Robert Maxwell Lost

Robert Maxwell is renowned for being a gambler and for raiding the Daily Mirror’s pension fund. Known for throwing away immense sums of cash at high-roller casinos, the press tycoon was no stranger to big defeats, losing half-a-million pounds in some sessions. However, it is true that he managed to drop $1.5 million in the space of three minutes playing roulette. Ouch.

600,000 Square Feet Is the Area of the Largest Casino

Time for another of the often-cited facts about gambling venues now. You’ll no doubt have heard about all manner of the biggest casinos out there. Well, none of them trumps the WinStar World, with its floor spanning 60,000 square feet. You might think that WinStar World is just another one of those massive Vegas casinos or perhaps based out in luxurious Macaг. You’d be wrong: it can be found in Oklahoma.

WinStar World Casino and Resort
The WinStar World is the largest casino on the planet

Woman Gets First Vegas Casino License

The US may be striving for equality and equal pay for women right now but consider this; the very first Nevada Gaming License was issued to a woman in 1931. Mayme Stocker obtained the license alongside J.H. Morgan when they opened the Northern Club. The license was for a “gambling and slot machine business” and was only valid for three months. Still, baby steps.

Casino House Edge Is Paramount

Now onto some things you may or may not know about casinos. We’re sure that you’ve heard about a house edge, but did you know that it is of paramount importance for them to make a profit? Moreover, you may not know that if you play blackjack with Basic Strategy or try your hand at French Roulette (with the La Partage/En Prison rules), you can actually lower the house’s edge.

It Is Better to Choose Progressive Slots Than Lotteries

If you pay any attention to probability (naturally, we do), then you’ll know that it is statistically better to play progressive jackpot slots than lotteries. Both offer immense sums of money, but (depending on the lotteries and jackpot slots you play) your odds of winning the lottery are so minute compared to progressive slots. Generally, lotteries have odds of 1 in 290 to 300 million. Jackpot slots have odds of one in 50 to 100 million.

Strategy May Mean Nothing

Playing with Basic Strategy can help you become a better player, but it can’t guarantee a win. Moreover, playing with betting systems like the Martingale can actually bankrupt you quicker than not using them. The way some of these strategies work involves doubling your bets, and if you were to go on a length losing streak, you’d be out of cash in no time at all.

Speed Is a Danger to Your Bank Roll

Speed gambling might sound fun, but it involves very little thought. You’re basically wagering the same way every time and in rapid succession. Gambling without any thought to probability or odds will always see you end up a loser at the table. Worse still, if you go bankrupt early, you may be tempted to put more money in to chase your losses; this is never a good idea.

Fun Facts

We’re not quite done with the fun facts about casinos just yet. Let’s end by looking at some truly zany stuff. Make a note of these if you’ve got a trivia quiz coming up because these facts are just plain bizarre. For instance:

Monte Carlo Isn’t for the Monegasque

You might think that the Monegasque are some of the luckiest people on the planet, living next door to what is one of the world’s most famous luxury casinos. You’d be wrong, though; Monaco residents haven’t been able to gamble in the casino since the mid-1800s.

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

We’ve all been playing and been on a streak we can’t tear ourselves away from. However, it apparently isn’t that uncommon for some players in New Jersey and Nevada to urinate while playing without leaving their game.

This, of course, usually results in a swift ejection from the casino and rightly so. One man in 2015 even tried to urinate in a coin slot opening so he didn’t have to leave.

Gambling and Eating Go Together

You are probably aware that the Fourth Earl of Sandwich (John Montagu) created the sandwich back in 1765. What you might not be aware of is that he was gambling at the time and couldn’t be bothered leaving the table. He asked his servant to stick meat between bread, his guests rather liked the idea, and the rest is pure legend.

Five Things You Didn’t Want to Know About Casinos

Let us end with a few final facts about gambling venues that you probably didn’t want to know. We’ll brief here to spare you any pain; they include:

  • Most Americans aren’t aware that American Roulette has a house edge twice that of European Roulette.
  • The first American casino to allow people of different races and ethnicities to mix didn’t open until 1955. It was the Moulin Rouge Casino and Hotel.
  • Some US states forbid lotteries. For example, Nevada doesn’t allow these games of chance, as it wants you to head into the casinos.
  • Alabama is very strict on gambling; it doesn’t allow you to bet on anything at all, even lotteries.
  • Side-bets in online casino games sometimes have worse odds than scratch cards. This is particularly true of progressive jackpot side bets.

There will always be one or two that are. However, most aren’t rigged. You just don’t have as good a chance of winning as you think you do.

Yes. While there is no crime involved, a casino may choose to boot you from the table, but you won’t be prosecuted.

We’re not sure about the tallest, but the Wildwood Casino in Cripple Creek has made a play for being the highest. It is located in the Colorado Rockies.

They don’t want you to spot the time and leave. Nor do they want you to see the sunshine and go out in it. Everything a casino does has some purpose of keeping you playing, and we do mean everything.

It varies depending on who you ask. However, we believe that Terrence Watanabe holds this unfortunate record, splashing $127 million over one year in what is reportedly the biggest loss ever. Caesars Palace even got fined $225,000 for letting him gamble when drunk.

Publication Author
Donald Peterson
Author of articles
Donald Peterson is an avid gambler from Edmonton, Alberta, who also writes about his experience with casinos. He’s been in the business for over 10 years, following the ever-changing industry landscape. His articles are aimed at helping beginners with choosing casinos, suitable games, and strategies.
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