25 Crazy Facts You Didn't Know About Casinos & Gambling

List Rules
Vote up the most surprising facts about the fast-paced world of casinos and gambling.

Casinos are a huge source of interesting myths, legends, and stories that almost seem too good to be true. There are tales of tremendous good luck ($25 million from slots?), dubious capitalism (atomic bomb parties?), and disgusting personal hygiene (adult diapers to keep a hot streak going?). Some of the most interesting facts about casinos and gambling come from societies where it isn't allowed, proving that it's hard to keep people from the allure of a potential big win.

Gamblers in Japan are forced to exploit a huge legal loophole to get their fix, while one of the world's most famous casinos in Monaco forbids locals from playing at all. In the United States, Las Vegas reigns supreme, but Indian reservation casinos across the country are a huge force in the industry as well - despite humble origins. Here are some of the craziest, most interesting facts you probably don't know about the wild world of casinos and gambling.
Photo:

  • 1
    373 VOTES

    The Founder of FedEx Saved the Company by Gambling in Vegas

    Here's an inspiring story for aspiring gamblers and small business owners: the founder of FedEx saved his floundering company by gambling in Vegas, earning $27,000 in blackjack! The company only had $5,000 in its coffers when Frederick Smith decided to fly to Vegas in 1973 and risk it all. Though this isn't good investment or business advice in general, Smith's gamble paid off, allowing the company to last long enough to raise $11 million and eventually earn its first profits in 1976.
  • 2
    347 VOTES

    The Nevada State Prison Used to Have a Casino for Inmates

    The Nevada State Prison Used to Have a Casino for Inmates
    Photo: www78 / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0
    Gambling is such a huge industry in Nevada that even the state prison had a casino inside it for 35 years. That's right: inmates could play blackjack, craps, poker, and even bet on sports inside the "Bullpen," a stone building on the prison's grounds in Carson City from 1932 to 1967. A new warden from California shut it down that year, saying gambling was a "degradation" to the inmates.
  • 3
    231 VOTES

    The World's Smallest Casino Is in the Back of a London Cab

    The alleged "World's Smallest Casino" doesn't even have an address. The Grosvenor Casino in London has a mobile casino in the back of a cab, complete with a gaming table, dealer, bar, and a TV showing sports. The promotional stunt lets riders go anywhere in the city as long as they make a charitable donation... or they can go straight to the casino, free of charge.
  • 4
    232 VOTES

    The Numbers on a Roulette Wheel Add Up to 666

    The Numbers on a Roulette Wheel Add Up to 666
    Photo: duncan / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0
    Gambling and superstition go hand-in-hand, so it's not surprising that some mystical properties have been assigned to some popular casino games. The biblical "Number of the Beast" makes an appearance in every casino with a roulette wheel: if you add up all the numbers on the wheel, you get 666! The coincidence, coupled with gambling's knack for ruining lives, has earned the roulette wheel the nickname "The Devil's Wheel."