Gambling is a massive source of legends, myths, and stories that I can assure you seem too good to be true.
There are tales of colossal good fortunes ($39.7 Million from slots?), dubiously long table games (an 8-year-long poker game), and nauseating hygiene (yes, people actually wear adult diapers to keep hot streaks).
And, interestingly, some of the most absurd facts about gambling and casinos come from societies where it isn’t even allowed, showing beyond doubt that it’s almost impossible to keep people away from the temptation of huge potential wins!
One of the world’s most extravagant and famous casinos in Monaco has banned locals from gambling at all while Japanese gamblers are exploiting a massive legal loophole to get their fix.
Here are some of the weirdest, and most interesting facts about the crazy world of gambling and casinos…
1. You are Sentenced to 5 Years of Gambling!
In Nevada, gambling was such a huge industry that even The Nevada State Prison allowed inmates to play poker, craps, blackjack, and even bet on sports inside its very own casino, which was a stone building inside the prison’s grounds.
Sadly, after 35 years of operation, the gambling establishment closed in 1967, after a new warden from California deemed gambling a “degradation” to the inmates. What a killjoy!
2. The Tiny London Black Cab Casino
The smallest casino in the world is so small that it doesn’t even have an address! But how would one find it? You simply need to hail a cab in London, albeit the right one because The Grosvenor Casino has a full-blown mobile casino, fitted with a gambling table dealer, bar, and a TV showing sports in the back of a traditional English black cab.
Yes, it is a promotional stunt, but a darn good one, because you can catch a ride to anywhere in the city, as long as you make a decently sized charitable donation…… or this little mobile casino can take you straight to The Grosvenor Casino itself.
What a joyride!
3. Hot Streaks Make Gamblers Pee All Over the Casino Floor
Some folks are just crazy and take things way too far! In Indiana in 2007, a complaint was filed at the state’s gambling commission by a gambler that claimed he sat in a pee-soaked chair at a slot machine, and in 2015, a gambler on a hot streak in New Jersey, urinated in a slot machine’s coin slot because he didn’t want to leave the slot machine. Eeewwww! Some players even wear adult diapers to avoid leaving the casino floor which just reminds us of the valuable lesson: Winners know when to stop!
4. Trade Silver Balls for Cash in Japan!
If gambling is illegal in your country what do you do? You simply find a loophole, like the clever folks in Japan. Although casinos are forbidden, Pachinko Parlors are not and these Pachinko machines work pretty much the same as the conventional slot machines but instead of earning coins, players earn little silver balls that can be traded in for prizes like toys and alcohol.
But! If you ask for a ‘’special prize token’’, you can redeem it for cash at a separate shop, that is actually state-regulated, allowing players to earn money for gambling in a country where it is technically illegal.
Where there is a will, there is a way!
5. The Vegas Atomic Bomb Parties
Although it may sound like a sick joke, Vegas Atomic Bomb parties actually existed. In 1951 over 1000 test nukes were detonated in spitting distance from Vegas (65 miles to be exact), and although this scary spectacle turned day into night by leaving constant mushroom clouds in the air, Vegas, being Vegas saw this as the perfect business opportunity.
Casinos turned the horror show into Atomic Bomb parties by promoting the detonation times via official Chamber of Commerce calendars and even made special atomic cocktails at casino bars. One casino even went as far as to host a Miss Atomic Energy beauty pageant, complete with outfits inspired by little mushroom clouds.
6. No Gambling = No Taxes in Monaco
Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco might be infamous but it is undoubtedly a gambler’s paradise, well that’s if you’re not from Monaco that is. In that case, you’ll need to get your fix somewhere else because, in the mid-1800s, Princess Caroline made it illegal for citizens of Monaco to gamble at this casino, insisting that the revenue come from foreigners exclusively.
But, on the flip of the coin, I’m sure the Monacans aren’t complaining. Why? Because they don’t need to pay taxes because Monaco uses the casino money instead.
Smart move Caroline, smart move!
7. The 8-Year-Long Poker Game
I know Dungeons and Dragons takes the top spot for the longest continual game in history (a whopping 38 years) but an 8-year-long poker game is also pretty impressive. The story has it that, in the basement of a theatre in Arizona in 1881, the longest-ever recorded poker game was played on a rolling 24-hour basis with occasional comfort breaks and sleeps and that some $10,000,000 changed hands.
It just shows you that it indeed does take a certain amount of luck, patience, and stamina to succeed in poker!
8. FedEx Founder Risked It All
The FedEx founder, Frederick Smith showed his bold courage after risking it all on the tables in Vegas in 1973. At the time the company only had $5000 in its coffers and was struggling to pay the bills. Smith decided to take the gamble and although I’m not so sure if this was a wise financial decision, it did pay off in the end earning him $27,000 on blackjack. From here on the company made its first profits in 1976 and today FedEx is worth 55,49 billion!
Well played Mr. Smith!
9. Roulette Wheel Numbers Add up to 666
Have you ever wondered why the Roulette Wheel is called ‘’The Devils Wheel’’? Well, it’s maybe because if you add up the numbers on the wheel, you get 666. I’m not sure who actually took the time to think of this but this coincidence, coupled with gambling having the knack to ruin lives, has earned this popular game various nicknames, including the biblical term, ‘’The Number of the Beast’’.
10. The Biggest Slots Machine Win is $39.7 Million
In 2003 a software engineer decided to play at Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas with a modest $100, not knowing at the time that this small decision, would change his life forever. After playing the popular Megabucks progressive slot, he hit the jackpot resulting in a $39.7 million win. He wanted to remain anonymous, so no one knows who he is or how he spent his massive fortune.
What a lucky guy!
Drop me a comment!
Well, there you have it. The world of gambling and casinos has always been filled with interesting, sometimes slightly absurd, and life-changing stories. If you know of some other interesting and weird casino facts, drop a comment below, I’d love to hear them!