Top 10 Fun Casino Facts
Every gambler has one thing in common – a love of anticipating a potential big winner. Whether that be from placing bets on a roulette table at your local casino or trying your luck spinning slots online, the experience is always captivating.
However, how much do you actually know about gambling itself? What was the first ever casino? The biggest ever slot win? Take a look at our top 10 fun casino facts for some insights.
1) The First Casino Ever to Open
Whilst it is not known where gambling first took place, one thing which is definite is the time and place of the first ever casino. Picture the setting – paddling through the Grand Canal to reach the Casinó di Venezia in Venice, Italy.
Originally, the entertainment center was opened to the public for dance balls and luxurious events. However, complementing this, the location also served as the first place for organized gambling. The casino first opened its doors in 1638, booking its place in history as the first ever land-based casino.
2) The First Slot Machine in History
The first slot machine was created in San Francisco back in 1887. It was called the Liberty Bell and was designed by Charles Fey, who was a car mechanic. The original slot machine included the likes of horseshoes, spades, diamonds, hearts and liberty bells as its symbols. The largest payout at the time was 50 cents for landing 3 liberty bells on the reels. Whilst the design was basic, Fey unlocked the door that has allowed for slot machines to develop ever since.
3) The Biggest Land-Based Slot Win at a Casino
To this date, the biggest slot win ever is a staggering $39.7 million. Back in 2003, an unnamed LA software engineer wagered $100 whilst playing at a casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The slot machine he was playing, Megabucks, is still located at Excalibur Casino.
The record has stood strong for a good 18 years and it seems as though it won’t be broken in the near future. However, if it is to happen, we’re betting on it occurring somewhere in Nevada again as Las Vegas is currently home to more than 200,000 slot machines.
4) The Record for Biggest Online Slot Win
Playing video slots online is a comfortable way of gaming and it is growing year-on-year. It also gives players the chance to win some staggering amounts. A lucky player from Belgian won an amazing €19,430,723.60 playing the slot Absolootly Mad™ Mega Moolah. He had bet €15 on the spin, which represents a fantastic return on investment.
5) The Best Double or Nothing Wager of All Time
One of the crazier sagas to come out of the world of gambling is the story of Ashley Revell. The local lad from Kent decided to risk it all – literally – by selling every single one of his possessions and placing the resulting money on a single roulette spin. That included his car, his house, his clothes and everything else. He sold it all for about $135,300 (£76,840) and then headed to Las Vegas in order to sit down at a roulette table. Guess what happened next?
His wager paid off and he had doubled up on all fronts! He left the casino with $270,600 in his pocket and onto a new life in which he used his winnings to start his own poker company. Whilst some may call it a ballsy wager, others would see it as the most bizarre thing a person could do. But at least Revell got his happy ending.
6) The Biggest Loser in Roulette History
For every winner, there is always a loser as well. Unfortunately for Robert Maxwell, a former Member of Parliament, it is his name that comes up when searching roulette’s biggest loser. Back in the 1980s, the British media proprietor loved the occasional roulette spin at various luxurious casinos.
One evening in Mayfair, at the Les Ambassadeurs Club, Maxwell made history in being the first – and only – person ever to lose as much as £1.5 million in only 3 minutes. He managed to pull off the feat by playing at three tables simultaneously. Whilst the amount is jaw-dropping for most people, Maxwell was a multi-millionaire and could probably laugh about it years later. Nevertheless, it’s not a record one would want to boast about.
7) The World’s Smallest Casino
One of the strangest casinos to have existed was in Birmingham, UK but it never had a fixed address. This is because Grosvenor Casino converted one of the country’s famous black cabs into a mobile casino as part of a promotion for a new land casino opening in the city. The taxi was fitted out with a gaming table, dealer, bar and TV showing sports.
According to several reviews, the casino acted as a normal taxi as well, taking players to different locations. Those who opted to visit the new casino received a free rider while other passengers were asked to make a charitable donation.
8) The Reason Monégasques Cannot Gamble Locally
Monégasques, also known as citizens from Monaco, are forbidden to enter and place any wagers at casinos in Monaco. The city is full of beautiful casino sites, like the Casino de Monté Carlo which makes an appearance in the James Bond movie Casino Royale in 2006.
In the mid-1800s, Princess Caroline forbade local citizens to gamble at any of the casinos in Monaco. She stated that the city should not take from locals but generate its own revenue exclusively from foreigners. The law stands to this day.
Whilst this may cause some upset among a selective group of locals, the good news is that they do not need to pay any income taxes. The principle of Monaco uses the income generated by casinos instead.
9) The Tale of Sean Connery’s Lucky 17
This next fun casino fact is more of a tale rather than an actual certain truth. According to legend, Sean Connery, the Scottish 7-times James Bond actor, is said to have defied the laws of probability.
Whilst gambling at a roulette table in Casino de la Vallee in Saint-Vincent, Italy, Connery is said to have placed 5 wagers on the number 17. The first two were losses but the next three all landed on 17!
By having three consecutive spins land on the number 17, Connery would have overcome the impossible. The figures show that he had a 0.0000197% chance of hitting it three times in a row or 50,000/1 betting odds. Ever since then, 17 has become a universal lucky number in the realm of gambling.
10) The Option to Voluntary Self-Ban from a Casino
Last but not least, did you know that it is possible to self-ban yourself from a casino. This option is available for both land-based casinos and online gambling sites as well. Self-exclusion prohibits you from entering the site or logging into the casino. You can choose to self-ban for a lifetime – i.e. you never are allowed to come back – or for a timeframe. The timeframe option depends on your preference but within that period, you are forbidden to enter.
As a closing thought, it is worth remembering that gambling is always in your hands. If you feel yourself digging a hole, remember you can always put your name on the no-entry list. The alternative to that is to go full Ashley Revell and wager everything you’ve got on either black or red. In case you wanted to know, Revell placed everything on red. Perhaps that’s the way to go about it.
We do hope you’ve enjoyed some of these fun casino facts and perhaps learned a thing or two as well. As you can see, gambling is a wacky world with some exceptional stories of defying probability and logic.