The casino and gaming world is rich with fun facts and cultural history. So rich in fact, that we’re positive even the most devoted gaming aficionado might not be able to name all ten of the fun facts we have listed out below:
Fact #1: The word casino is derived from an Italian word, meaning “small villa,” or “summerhouse,“ built purely for enjoyment. Later in the 19th century the meaning shifted to include public entertainment spaces, which is how it eventually became associated with the gaming world.
Fact #2: Those flashing lights on top of the slot machine are actually called candles — only these kind you don’t want to blow out. Instead, you hope they light right up!
Fact #3: The popular phrase “jackpot,” originated as a form of poker. In this variation, the pot continued to grow until a player could open the bidding with a pair of jacks or better.
Fact #4: Slot machine enthusiasts in Australia call their beloved machines “pokies!
Fact #5: Money raised from gambling and lotteries has been used to fund many public building projects, including construction of The Great Wall of China.
Fact #6: On that note, it is said that former President Richard Nixon used funds from bets he won playing cars in the South Pacific during WWII to fund his congressional election campaign.
Fact #7: It’s true that Las Vegas is the gambling capital of the U.S., but Macau is the gambling capital of the world, with bets bringing in $45.2 billion in revenue in 2016.
Fact #8: The first slot machines didn’t always pay winners in cash. In fact, the bar owners who housed these machines was at liberty to award prizes however he/she saw fit, most often in the form of free beer or cigars.
Fact #9: FedEx creator Fred Smith used the last of his company funds to take to the blackjack tables in Las Vegas. His hope was to win enough to pull his business out of debt, which he certainly did!
Fact #10: The Super Big Bertha is the largest slot machine in the world, at over 8 feet tall and 6.5 feet wide. It’s eight spinning reels make the odds of hitting a mere 1 in 25.6 billion!
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