Casinos, and indeed gambling in general, are just such an exciting and fascinating pastime! All those colorful games simply cannot fail to grab your attention, and the gripping action to be found there is sure to keep you focused on only one thing – nabbing your winnings! However, there are lots of other things that may well prove no less amusing than the game itself. So here are our top ten facts you mightn’t have known about gambling!

The First Casino

Ridotto gambling house in 1638It’s interesting how often we use certain words without the slightest idea of their etymology. So let’s take gambling as an example; it has already been around for many centuries. The ancient Greeks and Romans were the first people who started to bet money on various games. We can even find in Aristotle’s notes the probabilities of dice. The word ‘dice’ actually, comes from the ancient Greek word ‘dike,’ which means ‘to throw.’

However, the first modern-style casino was opened in Italy. The Great Council of Venice founded the Ridotto gambling house in 1638, to ensure proper surveillance of the gambling field during carnivals. The word ‘casino’ also has an Italian origin and means ‘little house.’

The Story of Roulette

Translated from French, the word ‘roulette’ means ‘little wheel.’ Well this is all quite logical so far. Anyway, the game is considered to have been coined by a French mathematician and theologian Blaise Pascal, who lived in the 16th century. However, some historians claim that a similar game was played in ancient China and Rome, although this involved spinning stones or chariot wheels instead!

Sandwich Time

We all love sandwiches and so we all have to thank the fourth Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, for this invention. The man was so excited by the game that he just couldn’t leave the gambling table, even for the sake of getting his lunch! So, he asked his chef to put the usual meal between two slices of bread, so he could grasp his lunch with one hand and play by with the other. This man is a real genius, isn’t he?

Rules in Japan

The whole area of gambling regulations in Japan is a fairly uncertain one, as there are some very strict rules. Citizens are allowed to bet on sports, including horse racing, bicycle racing, powerboat racing, asphalt speedway motorcycle racing, sumo, and baseball. Lotteries are also legal and are used by the government as a way of raising funds.

Pachinko Parlours Machines in Japan

However, when it comes to pachinko parlours, there’s a real twist in the tale! First of all, we should mention that pachinko machines are similar to slots but with one exception – when you hit the jackpot, you win pachinko balls instead of cash. These balls can be exchanged for toys, alcohol, or ‘prize tokens,’ which in turn can be exchanged for real cash in the nearest shop. Pachinko parlours are not considered to be a gambling kind of activity because the money is given out in a completely different place. What an interesting place Japan must be!