March 21, 2023

Top Facts About Gambling That Will Blow Your Mind

Adaobi Okonkwo
Written byAdaobi OkonkwoWriter

Did you know that Las Vegas is not the world's gambling capital? Well, if you think that is surprising, other facts we have in store for you will blow your mind. Here is our take on the top most interesting facts about gambling and casinos that you might have never heard.

Top Facts About Gambling That Will Blow Your Mind

Slot Games Used to be Fruit Gum Machines

If you have ever played slots either on a slot machine at land-based casinos or on virtual slots at the best online casinos, you might have noticed that most of those games are fruit themed. Have you ever wondered why that's the case?

Back in the 1880s, slot machines were actually fruit-flavored gum dispensing machines. People could add money to the machines and then get fruit-flavored gums. The symbols of fruits displayed on the machine represented the flavor of the gum. Some of those machines also dispensed tokens that people exchanged for drinks or cigars.

The Largest Gambling Loss Totaled $127 Million

You might have heard of people winning insane prizes from lottery jackpots or slot machines. However, it is also true that many people have lost huge sums of money on gambling activities. The person who lost the largest amount of money in gambling history is Terrance Watanabe.

Terrance Watanabe was the son of a wealthy businessman, and he inherited the Oriental Trading Company in 1977 when his father died. After inheriting the company, Terrance Watanabe sold it in 2000 and went on a gambling spree in Las Vegas that lasted around one year. Within one year, Terrance Watanabe gambled $835 million and lost $127 million.

Las Vegas is Not the World’s Gambling Capital

As we have already mentioned, Las Vegas is not the gambling capital. It's surprising because whenever you hear about gambling, Las Vegas is the first thing that comes to mind. 

While Las Vegas has many casinos, more than you can imagine, the world's gambling capital is Macau. Macau is the only territory in China where gambling in a casino is legal. 

There are two reasons why it is considered the world's gambling capital. Firstly, casinos in Macau generate a ton of revenue. The combined revenue of all the casinos in Macau is five times more than that of casinos in Las Vegas.

Secondly, most of the revenue generated by casinos in Las Vegas comes from penny slots. On the other hand, over three-quarters of the money generated by casinos in Macau comes from high rollers who make huge bets at VIP tables.

An Anonymous Person Gambled $100 & Turned it Into $39.7 Million

Every now and then, you hear stories of people winning massive jackpots from gambling. One of the most popular gambling activities that people participate in includes slots. One lucky person managed to turn his $100 into $39.7 million at a slot machine.

Who is that person you might ask? Like most other jackpot winners, this slot machine winner probably also chose to remain anonymous. However, we do know that the slot machine that gave out this impressive sum was called the Megabucks, located at the Excalibur casino in Las Vegas. We also know that the winner was a software engineer.

The Largest Casino in the World is Larger Than 10 American Football Fields

The gambling industry is massive. Casinos from around the world generate billions of dollars in revenue. That revenue comes from millions of gamblers who participate in gambling activities either regularly or on special occasions. 

To accommodate gamblers, hundreds of casinos are available across the globe. Considering the growing popularity of gambling, casinos are getting larger and larger. The largest casino in the world, WinStar World Casino, has an area of a whopping 600,000 square feet. 

To give you an idea of how large 600,000 square feet is, the average American football field measures around 57,600 square feet. In other words, ten football fields would easily fit inside the WinStar World Casino.

A Man Once Sold Everything to Bet on a Single Roulette Spin

Gambling addiction is a serious condition. People spend their entire life savings on gambling and end up with nothing. In 2004, UK television got a TV series called Double or Nothing. The TV series showed a man named Ashley Revell, who was planning on selling everything he owned and then gambling all the earnings on roulette. 

Ashley Revell managed to raise £135,300 after selling everything he owned except the clothes he was wearing. He staked all that money on a single roulette wheel spin and bet it all on red. 

Fortunately for him, the roulette wheel landed on 7 Red, and he won £270,600. However, this was an exception and is not the rule. You shouldn't sell all your belongings and gamble with all the money. Always keep responsible gambling in mind.

A Prison in Nevada Once Had a Casino Where Inmates Could Gamble

While there is no harm in responsible gambling, and many people participate in gambling activities on special occasions without any issues, it is considered a controversial subject in several parts of the world. On top of that, gambling is illegal in several countries.

However, gambling and casinos are quite popular in the United States. You'd be surprised to know that a prison in Nevada used to have a casino that allowed inmates to gamble. 

The casino allowed inmates to play gambling games like blackjack, craps, and poker. Inmates were also allowed to bet on selected sports. The casino was a part of the prison for 35 years until it got shut down in 1967.

Monaco Citizens Can’t Camble at a Casino Located In Monaco

Speaking of places where gambling is legal, the country of Monaco is one of them. Citizens of Monaco have access to several casinos where they can scratch their gambling itch. 

However, there is a casino located in Monaco where gambling is not allowed for the citizens of Monaco. Citizens of other countries are free to gamble there. We are talking about the infamous Monte Carlo casino. 

Around the mid-1800s, Princess Caroline made it illegal for the citizens of Monaco to gamble at the Monte Carlo casino. You might be wondering why that happened. The Princess insisted that the revenue should come only from foreigners, not the citizens.

Roulette Was Called The Devil’s Game

A lot of our favorite gambling games were not like how we know them to be today. They were a lot different when they first started to originate. They also had different names. One of the most popular gambling games these days is roulette, which was once called the devil's wheel. 

You might be wondering why roulette was called the devil's wheel. The answer to that is spooky. If you add up all the numbers on the roulette wheel, the answer is 666, which you might know as the mark of the beast. A popular joke around the roulette wheel is that Blaise Pascal, creator of roulette, made a deal with the devil.

Gambling Helped The Founder Of FedEx Save The Company

As we have already touched on this topic, gambling addiction is a serious issue, although gambling itself is not a problem and many people gamble responsibly. 

Sadly, many people have lost an important portion of their savings to gambling. However, the founder of FedEx also gambled an important portion of the company's money, and it didn't and badly in his case.

In 1973, FedEx was struggling to stay in business. At that time, the company had $5000 worth of reserves left. The founder of FedEx, Frederick Smith, took that money, flew to Vegas, and risked it all. Fortunately, he did not lose all that money and won $27,000.

You Can Ask Casinos To Ban You, & They’ll Actually Do That

Gambling addiction can be difficult to control. However, there are plenty of strategies you can use that help you in staying away from gambling. Surprisingly, one of those strategies is to ask casinos to ban you from their casinos. 

Yup, that's right, you can voluntarily ask a casino to ban you from their casino, and they will actually do that. Once a casino bans you, it makes it a crime for you to step foot on the gambling floor of that casino. 

You can choose how long the ban lasts, ranging from one year up to a life ban. In other words, if you choose a life ban, you won't ever be able to step on the gambling floor.


From casinos in prisons to insane jackpot stories, there are a ton of facts about gambling that will blow your mind. Now you know a couple of the good ones, and you can use them to impress your friends the next time you enter a casino with them or participate in some other gambling activity.

About the author
Adaobi Okonkwo
Adaobi Okonkwo

Amidst the hustle of Lagos, Adaobi Okonkwo emerges as Nigeria's preeminent specialist in localizing online casino content. By fusing Nigerian zest with global gaming insights, she's become a household name in the industry.

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