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Gambling Facts

17 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Gambling 2024

Gambling is a pastime that has existed for centuries. However, it came to the fore during the 1990s when the internet became a worldwide sensation. People could assess gambling platforms anywhere as long as there was an internet connection. Gambling enthusiasts could get solid information about sports betting and gambling at Finnish betting sites so they could take advantage of promos or offers.

However, there are several interesting facts you need to know about gambling, which includes how a founder saved his floundering organization. Here are the top 17 interesting things you never knew about gambling:

Gambling Facts

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1. Online gambling peaked during the lockdown

The lockdown is a period known for many things, aside from the massive layoffs and other world economic events. Gambling sessions peaked during this period, especially online, since brick-and-mortar casinos had been shut down alongside other businesses.

Those who love playing games as a hobby turned to the internet on their mobile devices and personal computers. Many online gambling platforms welcomed hundreds of thousands of new players combined. As a result, the online gambling market grew to almost $8 billion in 2021!

Even the United Kingdom Commission reported that up to 64 percent of gamblers played their favorite games online more often during the lockdown.

2. Card counting is legal, but you can get thrown out

Card counting is a strategy that gamblers deploy in blackjack. This usually involves keeping track of the cards that have already been dealt and those that remain in the deck when playing. It is legal, thanks to movies like 21 and Rain Man.

However, most casinos worldwide go to great lengths to stop card counting, especially if you are not so subtle in your approach. If you get caught card counting, you may be thrown out, asked to leave politely, or forced to play another casino game.

Many casinos have started combating card counting by shuffling the deck more often or slightly changing the rules of the game.

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3. Roulette used to be known as the devil’s game

Do you know that roulette used to be referred to as ‘the devil’s game?’ Someone instinctively added the numbers printed on a roulette wheel and made an astounding discovery: the number came to ‘666,’ the alleged mark of the beast. This proves that superstition and gambling go hand-in-hand, or does it?

Blaise Pascal, a French philosopher, and mathematician invented the roulette wheel. However, according to a running joke, the creator of the casino game may have made an excellent deal with the devil. This could partly be responsible for the raving popularity of this gambling game and its knack for ruining many gamblers’ lives.

4. Gambling addiction is real

Gambling should be nothing more than a pastime for entertainment seekers. However, it can become unexpectedly problematic.

According to in-depth studies, approximately 10 million individuals in the United States and millions of gamblers worldwide fall victim to gambling addiction. As a result, the most reputable gambling establishments and online casinos, including regulatory authorities, take active measures to help protect gambling enthusiasts from this problem.

The best internet casinos have responsible gaming sections and links to websites that provide problem-gambling assistance. These casinos allow players set overspending alerts and time limits. They can also order periodic closure to a gambling addict’s account or even ban the player from the bill altogether.

5. Las Vegas is not the center of the gambling universe

It is common for folks in the United States – and beyond – to assume that Las Vegas, the largest city famous for world-class gambling and entertainment, is the world’s gambling capital. This is far from the truth, according to revenue statistics made available.

That unique distinction belongs to Macau, a prominent Chinese city. Macau is home to casinos that generate up to $29 billion annually! This figure is approximately seven times more than the Las Vegas handle.

But why Macau, you ask? Macau’s special administrative status makes the city the only gambling destination in China. Other top gambling hubs include Paris, London, Atlantic City, and Monaco.

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6. The biggest jackpot ever was won by an anonymous person

The biggest jackpot was won by an anonymous individual in 2003, though this could change at any moment now. Many gamblers love playing progressive slots since they have a great potential to rein in huge jackpots.

The anonymous gambler spent only $100 on the well-known Megabucks slot in Las Vegas. This individual somehow managed to hit the right combination, and all the alarms and lights went off. That little $100 investment hauled in a massive $39.7 million.

7. The use of digital coins (cryptocurrencies) is on the rise

This high-tech age has brought with it a new way of transacting online. Introducing digital coins, known worldwide as cryptocurrency, powered by blockchain technology.

Since bitcoin became mainstream in 2009, bettors have increasingly recognized the significant advantages it brings to the gambling scene. The emergence of thousands of cryptocurrencies has increased these advantages. Since blockchain technology drives digital currencies, online gamblers have turned to cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrency does not depend on any banking or government authority. Gamblers use digital coins like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, and others, to transact business anonymously, securely, and with lightning speed, thanks to blockchain technology.

The future remains bright as more and more gamblers advocate the use of cryptocurrency on gambling platforms.

8. Mobile gambling is revolutionizing the entire industry

Technology has contributed significantly to the growth of the gambling industry. Aside from making online gambling a reality, another exceptional breakthrough is the development of smartphone and mobile internet access. 

Over 6.6 billion individuals worldwide own and use smartphones. This figure is almost 3 times the number of those who use personal computers. Nearly every gambler carries a casino in their pockets, thanks to the power of technology.

According to the European Business Review, mobile casinos are responsible for more than 70 percent of online betting revenue.

9. Slot games were formerly fruit gum machines

The early versions of the ever-popular slot machines during the early 20th century offered a unique option: a gum vending attachment. Players only need to insert coins in the slot, pull a lever, and a chew or two pop out.

Most of the gum these slot machines offered at the time came in different fruit flavors, such as lemon, orange, and cherry. As a result, fruit symbols were assigned to the reels, and slots were now known as fruit machines.

This tradition is still maintained to this day. The fruit symbols are mainstays on the latest modern 3-reel online slots.

10. The back of a London cab houses the world’s smallest casino

Who would have thought someone would set up a gambling center in the back of a London cab? The Grosvenor casino is the world’s smallest casino. This mobile casino is housed in the back of a London cab and comes with a TV showing sports, a dealer, a gaming table, and a bar.

This promotional stunt allows riders to go to any location they desire in the city. But this is only as long as the riders make charitable donations. They can also choose to visit the casino, entirely free of charge.

11. A WWII vet once won over $25 million playing slots

Big money at casinos is mostly won at table games. However, several rare exceptions take place. In this particular case, which occurred in 1989, Elmer Sherman, a World War II veteran, won a whopping $4.6 million from a slot machine at the Mirage.

But Elmer wanted more. He allegedly made it his life’s dream to win another stunning jackpot. Shockingly in 2005, Elmer’s dream came true as he bagged another $21.1 million jackpot at the cannery.

12. Monaco citizens are not permitted to gamble at the infamous Monte Carlo casino

If you are not a citizen of Monaco, you’re welcome to consider the infamous Monte Carlo casino a gambler’s paradise. But if you are, you may have to take your gambling self elsewhere.

In the 1800s, Princess Caroline prohibited Monaco’s citizens from gambling in the ill-famed Monte Carlo casino. According to the Princess, the revenue generated at the gambling establishment comes only from foreigners.

But this is good news for Monaco citizens: they do not have to pay any income tax. This is because the Principality of Monaco only uses the money the casino generates.

13. It is possible to ban yourself voluntarily from gambling/casinos

You can ban yourself voluntarily from gambling centers or casinos. If you’re so addicted to gambling that it is spiraling out of control, some states will permit you to ban yourself from gambling establishments.

When you do, it becomes a crime for you to step one foot on a gaming floor. For instance, Ohio has implemented a ‘Voluntary Exclusion’ program for gamblers interested in kicking their gambling habit. This enables such gamblers to ban themselves from gambling for a year, 5 years, or even for life.

If you opt for the lifetime ban, you’d better mean it and back your word with action. There will be zero ways to remove your name from that list as soon as you commit to quitting gambling for good.

14. FedEx still exists due to a gambling risk its founder took

Do you know a founder who saved his floundering business from extinction through gambling? This inspiring but unorthodox gambling story should motivate small business owners and gamblers.

Some decades ago, precisely in 1973, Frederick Smith, the founder of FedEx, was in dire straits. The company had only $5,000 and needed more to thrive. The founder took the money, flew to Las Vegas, and risked everything by gambling.

As they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Mr. Smith played blackjack and won a whopping sum of $27,000! This is not sound business or investment advice, so use this information at your own risk.

Mr. Smith’s gamble paid off immensely, and FedEx, his brainchild, lasted just long enough to raise up to $11 million. The company started earning its first significant profits in 1976 and has grown to become the behemoth it is today.

15. The first slot machine was not in a casino

Charles Fey is credited with inventing the first slot machine in the 19th century, specifically in 1895. The slot machine was not even placed or played in a casino and far from Las Vegas.

The slot machine, known at the time as the ‘liberty bell’ machine, was at Charles Fey’s auto shop in San Francisco. His customers could play with the machine while waiting for their vehicles to get fixed.

However, this machine caught on, and the slot machine’s popularity increased so much that casinos began purchasing them. The goal was to engage gamblers while waiting for the table games to be decongested. You can guess how it went from there.

16. The sandwich was practically invented in a gambling establishment

In 1765, the 4th earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, was a passionate gambler. His passion – or is it an addiction – for gambling was so massive that Montagu found it challenging to leave the gaming table to eat. He nearly always ordered his servants to send him some meat placed between sliced bread so he could eat and gamble simultaneously. This was how the sandwich was birthed.

In reality, though, John Montagu was not really much of a gambler. But he truly did enjoy and love his namesake meal. This legend originated from a French travel guide and remains the only source of this remarkable gambling tale.

However, this story caught on, and before long, people from different parts of Europe started craving sandwiches. In truth, the earl of Sandwich did not invent the ‘sandwich,’ after all, it is just meat positioned between slices of bread which many people most likely ate for centuries.

But John Montagu gave this meal a good name, and the cool story that went with it was too adorable to ignore.

17. Craps originated from crabs

Craps, the popular gambling game, actually originated from crabs. According to historians, everything started with Hazard, an old British dice game. In this game, rolling ‘snake eyes’ was referred to as rolling ‘crabs’ for no identifiable reason.

French settlers residing in New Orleans in the mid-18th century kept the old British dice game alive. But over time, the combination of English-speaking and French players and a few significant changes to the rules of this game turned ‘crabs’ into ‘craps,’ again, for no identifiable reason. This was how an entirely new gambling game was birthed.

Gambling is a favorite pastime for many individuals worldwide. But only a few know these amazing facts about gambling. Hopefully, you’ve learned a thing or two about gambling and how it has become one of the most thriving industries today.

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