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Gambling facts

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Welcome to our gambling trivia page. Here you will find an extensive collection of useless facts about gambling casinos, slot machines, bingo, baccarat, blackjack, Las Vegas, and much more. If you are a gambling trivia nut, be sure to visit this page often because we update our gambling factoids every week.

Gambling Trivia

1. Madame de Montespan, second wife of Louis XIV, once lost 4 million francs in a half-hour at the gambling table.

2. About 24 percent of American adults say they have participated, at some time or another, in illegal gambling.

3. Massachusetts Puritans passed America's first law against gambling in 1638.

4. No patent can ever be taken out on a gambling machine in the United States.

5. The State of Nevada first legalized gambling in 1931. At that same time, the Hoover Dam was being built and the federal government did not want its workers (who earned 50 cents an hour) to be involved with such diversions, so they built the town of Boulder City to house the dam workers. To this day, Boulder City is the only city in Nevada where gambling is illegal. Hoover Dam is 726 feet tall and 660 feet thick at its base. Enough rock was excavated in its construction to build the Great Wall of China. Contrary to old wives' tales, no workers were buried in the dam's concrete.

6. According to Gambler's Digest, more cheating takes place in private, friendly gambling games than in all other gambling games combined.

7. There is one slot machine in Las Vegas for every eight inhabitants.

8. Bavarian immigrant Charles August Fey invented the first three-reel automatic payout slot machine, the Liberty Bell, in San Francisco, in 1899.

9. According to suppliers, purple is, by far, the favorite ink color in dabbers used by bingo Players.

10. On a bingo card of 90 numbers, there are approximately 44 million ways to make B-I-N-G-O.

11. In baccarat, the count sought is nine. In blackjack, Players attempt to get cards that add up to 21.

12. If you add together all the numbers on a roulette wheel (1 to 36), the total is the mystical number 666, often associated with the Devil.

13. Secure, relatively high-yielding stocks came to be called blue chips, a term taken from the game of poker, where blue chips are more valuable then white or red chips.

14. To prevent some numbers from occurring more frequently than others, dice used in craps games in Las Vegas are manufactured to a tolerance of 0.0002 inches, less than 1/17 the thickness of a human hair.

15. You have to break a lot of eggs to serve breakfast in Las Vegas. At Caesars Palace alone, an average of 7,700 are prepared each day, with 2.8 million eggs delivered each year to that one resort. Caesars serves over 427 pounds of coffee each day and pours more than 3,000 ounces of orange juice every 24 hours.

16. There are no clocks in Las Vegas gambling casinos.

17. There are more than 15,000 miles of lighted neon tubing in the many signs along the Strip and in downtown Las Vegas.

18. Las Vegas means "the meadows" in Spanish. Ironically, the city in the desert was once abundant in water and vegetation.

19. The Stratosphere Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas is 1,149 feet tall, making it the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.

20. The Las Vegas MGM Grand's 170,000-square-foot casino is larger than the playing field at Yankee Stadium. It contains over 3,000 gaming machines.

21. In 1765, the sandwich was invented by John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, who gave the food its name. The Earl used to order roast beef between pieces of toast for a snack while he was at the gaming tables. This allowed him to keep one hand free while he ate.

The History of Gambling**

Zeus, Hades and Poseidon are said to have split the Universe by sharing heaven, hell and sea with the throw of dices; Roman soldiers played the Christ's tunic with dices at the bottom of the Cross. During antiquity, Greek and Roman nobilities went to spas to rest their body and enjoy time with games. With the expansion of the Roman Empire, so did the spa towns and their intrinsic gambling activities. From the Middle Ages to the 18th century, gambling activities moved from the exclusive spa resorts to become part of the social life of the urban rich and famous. Governments then started to regulate all gaming activities to preserve the-man-in-the-street's solvency they relied upon. Card games and dices were particularly "en vogue" at that time.

In 1626 in Venice, for the first time a public gambling house was legalized. Soon the high Venetian society met in so-called little-houses or "casini" to indulge in everything from business dealings, politics, gambling and more carnal pleasures. "Casino" became synonymous with vice and perdition. Taking Venice as a model, gambling houses spread in many spa resorts throughout Europe. The most famous of all would give its name to the concept : Spa in Belgium where the casino activity will be officially recognized in the 17th century. Gambling houses became an official, organized and legal activity, patronized by the European aristocracy and bourgeoisie. After the fall into disgrace of Venice, Spa boomed with new casinos, new games, longer opening hours (up to 12 hours a day) while casinos also thrived in France, Germany and England.

The 19th century marked the official legalization of casinos by Napoleon in 1806. Casinos introduced security, high standard, quality service, comfort, luxury; managers started to restrict access to a selected clientele. The myth of casino was born with stories of successes, heavy losses, bankruptcies, suicides, noble attitudes, fortunes made and lost overnight... Gambling became a fashionable hobby and casinos places to be and to be seen , a showcase of the rich and famous' wealth.

In 1837, all casinos in France were declared illegal. By opposition, in Germany, they prospered like in Baden-Baden, Wiesbaden or Bad-Homburg where for the first time chips were used as the instruments to wager whereas the casino innovated with the introduction of the first single-zero roulette table.

In 1860, Monaco was a principality in great financial troubles when a man named Francois Blanc proposed to open casino to bail it out. Three years later, the "Societe des Bains de Mer" was born with the opening of the casino in what was to become the most famous and glamorous gambling place on earth, Monte-Carlo.

The British aristocracy soon discovered the French Riviera for its winter holidays and Monte-Carlo for its gambling thrills. New rooms were opened in the casino, higher limits were reached, fortunes were made and lost everyday; in 1899, "salons prives" (private rooms) were opened with no bet limits.

In the United States of America, after a brief attempt to legalize gambling on the riverboats of Louisiana in 1890, the end of the Prohibition in 1932 led to the extensive development of illegal gambling "joints" controlled by the mob, with the notable exception of the State of Nevada where gambling was legalized in 1931. Benjamin Siegel, alias "Bugsy", would be the founder of the modern Las Vegas we all know today as the World's Gambling Mecca.

In Asia, gambling "dens" started operating in China and Saigon (Vietnam) and of course in Macau where casino houses opened as early as 1850. However, it is in 1962 when the "Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau" won the monopoly for the casino licences that Macau became a real gambling empire.

Today, very few jurisdictions on earth are still immune from casinos. Throughout the five continents, the games of roulette, black-jack, baccarat and the likes have all gamblers dreaming about making fortunes ..or simply enjoying a great moment of fun.

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