Some Relatively Unknown Facts About Gambling
Gambling has existed in some form or the other for centuries. Indian history has references of betting games as early as 3000 BC. Even Chinese history offers evidence of gambling in 2,300 BC. With a 4,000 year old history, gambling has its share of little known facts. These make you wonder about the love people have for this form of entertainment.
Did You Know?
The word casino comes from the Italian word, cascina, or ‘little house.’ These ‘little houses’ once dotted the Mediterranean coasts and were the precursors to the modern-day casino. The first official casino was built in 1638 and is still a popular tourist destination in Venice today.
The oldest casino in Las Vegas is the Golden Gate, first called Hotel Nevada. It opened in 1906. Back then, you could get a room for just $1! Incidentally, Hotel Nevada had the first phone number to be ever assigned in the Vegas area. Guess what the number was. Quite simple, it was the numeral ‘1’.
The largest casino in the world is located on the other side of the world… the Vegas of the East. The Venetian Macao is owned by the same firm that owns The Venetian in Vegas and is located on the Cotai Strip in Macau. This is the largest casino till date, as well as the fourth largest building in the world. It measures 980,000 square meters in floor area. Well, the fact that it is a resort, convention and retail centre as well is not so surprising.
What’s on the Cards?
Blackjack is claimed by Italians, as well as the French as their invention. It’s still unclear where it originated, but what is known for sure is that it was banned in the United States till 1939. Despite this, it is among the most popular games in the US today.
The first slot machine was called the Liberty Bell and was invented by a San Francisco mechanic by the name of Charles Fey in 1899.
Poker was introduced to the Americans by a British actor called Joseph Crowell in the 19th century. It was actually invented in Europe and the name is derived from the German game Pochspiel or the French Poque.
Incidentally, the French are credited with the invention of the suit of cards, in which the four main classes of French society are represented; noblemen by spades, clergy by hearts, traders by diamonds and commoners by clubs.
Curiously, the invention of poker gave us the ubiquitous sandwich. Yes, it’s true; the Earl of Sandwich hated leaving his poker game to eat, so he came up with a handy form of nourishment that needed just one free hand!
Speaking of being engrossed in the game, did you notice, as a rule, casinos never have clocks on their walls? Forget clocks, they also avoid having windows. Players can then indulge and lose track of time. The Internet cannot do that, though, with our computers having a digital clock ticking.
The good thing about the Internet is that online gaming has allowed players to indulge from remote locations and at any time of the day or night. The first online gaming software was released by Microgaming in 1994, followed by Cryptologic in 1995. Another pioneer, Gaming Club Casino, used the Microgaming software and is still in existence. It holds the distinction of some of the biggest online jackpots. The vanguard is brought up by InterCasino, which uses the Cryptologic software, one of the biggest online casinos in existence today.