5 Fun facts about gambling and casinos

What are the odds that you knew that? The CasinoPlay crew love trivia (we are regulars at our pub trivia evening even though the darn #SmartSisters beat us every time!) and we love discovering things we never knew before – especially if it’s related to our passions.

We recently posted an article about what the future holds for online gambling and during our discussion about tech we were side-tracked thinking about how gambling has affected the world around us. As an industry that is heavily involved in the innovative use of technology, online and mobile casinos are at the cutting-edge of bringing new and thrilling advances to the world.

But how else has gambling been influential? And what are those odd little nuggets of knowledge that make gambling and casinos so fun and interesting?

The invention of the sandwich

One of our favourite gambling facts is how it relates to the ‘invention’ of the sandwich. This common staple in lunchboxes worldwide was first enjoyed during an intense cards session, or so the story goes.

According to legend, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, was such an avid gambler that he refused to leave the tables to eat. Instead, he got someone to put some meat between two slices of bread so he could eat and still play at the same time.

While a chunk of meat stuck between hunks of bread is more than likely quite a common repast since the invention of bread and cooked meat, the story became so popular during the 1700’s that the meal soon became named after him – thus the birth of the ‘sandwich’.

World-changing without a doubt.

The world’s smallest casino

The Grosvenor Casino in London, UK has what Is claims is the smallest casino in the world. A gambling table, dealer, bar and TV showing sports – all in the back of one of London’s famous ‘Black Cabs’.

Players/riders can book the working mini-casino for trips to and from the actual Grosvenor Casino or for rides around London, all they need to do is make a Charitable donation.

Fun facts about gambling and casinos

Gambling saved one of the world’s most famous companies

FedEx is one of the most recognisable companies in the world, and not just because they ruined Tom Hanks’ life in Cast Away.

FedEx as we know it today is a global business shipping billions of packages around the world daily. Their profits put them up there amongst the top earners internationally. They are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. They are a success story by anyone’s measure.

But in 1973, the company was in dire financial straits. Their doors were on the cusp of shutting permanently.

That was until founder Frederick Smith took the last $5,000 out of the company account, flew to Las Vegas, and hit the blackjack tables. His gamble paid off and he left the tables with $27,000, enough to keep his company alive for a little longer. A little longer that turned into a lot longer. And then a world-spanning empire.

Also, just for full transparency, this is NOT a recommended business practice, and your accountant will DEFINITELY have an embolism if you try this.

It’s illegal to gamble at the most famous casino in the world

The Casino de Monte Carlo is one of the most famous, recognisable, and opulent casinos in the world – and it’s illegal to gamble there!

Well, to be clear, it’s illegal for any citizen of Monaco to gamble there.

It’s a very odd law for a Principality built on and world famous for its casinos. Most visitors to the stunning location on the Mediterranean Ocean are there to 1) visit the casino, 2) watch Formula 1, 3) drool over the lifestyles of the insanely wealthy or, 4) do all three.

Monaco is literally built on gambling. Before the opening of the Casino de Monte Carlo and its sister casinos (there are four famous casinos in the country ­– which is just over two square kilometres in size IN TOTAL), the Royal Family were struggling to keep the nation out of bankruptcy. And now they are one of the richest nations in the world, famous for gambling, luxury sports cars, insanely massive yachts, the highest population concentration in the world, and the biggest concentration of millionaires and billionaires in the world.

Fun facts about gambling and casinos

No dice for craps in Canada

Canadian law prohibits games of chance using dice. Which, you would think, makes craps a bit of a rare game in the land of maple syrup and poutine.

But canny Canadian craps connoisseurs have found a way around the laws – as every good gambler does. In Canadian casinos, craps games are played with cards instead of dice. The rules are the same, the gameplay is the same, but you shuffle a deck rather than roll the bones.

Why such a craps name?

Speaking of craps, ever wondered why it’s called craps? It seems like an odd name for a popular game.

There are a number of stories about how the name developed and the most consistent of these stories all mention a dice gamed played in England called ‘Hazard’. As Hazard spread in popularity its name soon changed to reflect local customs. The French, especially the French settlers in New Orleans, started calling the game ‘crapaud’ which means ‘toad’ in French and was a reference to what the players resembled as they squatted to throw the bones.

But wait, there’s more!

Why ‘throw the bones’? What is the most insane ‘winning from almost nothing’ gambling story? What’s the link between the Great Wall of China and gambling?

So many questions, so little space for them all.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these 5 fun facts as much as we enjoyed searching them out. They’re just the start. Keep an eye out for part 2 coming soon.

And if you have any interesting facts, stats, or stories you think our fans would enjoy, please send them to us via the contact sheet on our Contact Us page.