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Gambling Anniversaries

23 November 2019

There is a lot of news lately on TV, newspapers and magazines about the 50th anniversary of the first man to walk on the moon. The whole world watched or read about that special event in July 1969.

Well, when it comes to gambling, we also have a lot of anniversaries to celebrate. For example, on April 15, 1887, Charles Fey demonstrated his new five cent Liberty Bell slot machine to a group of San Francisco saloon, cigar store and restaurant owners. Fey did not sell his machines instead he placed them in saloons and other locations and collected a 50 percent rental fee on all the winnings. Since this event was making its first appearance to the public this could be the anniversary date of the introduction of the slot machine.

There are a lot of anniversaries in July that celebrate milestones in the gambling world; here are a few:

• July 1, 1959 - 5th Street in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada officially becomes Las Vegas Boulevard. (51.4 miles through the county, 4.5 miles on the Strip).

• July 1, 1971 - The $20 million, 22 stories, 504 rooms Plaza Hotel & Casino opens at One Main Street in Downtown Las Vegas. It was, at that time, the world’s largest casino with 80,000 square feet of casino space.

• July 2, 1958 - Costing $10 million, The Stardust Resort and Casino opens at high noon on the strip in Las Vegas with 1,065 rooms, and a 15,500 square foot casino. Room rates go for $6-a-night. At the time it billed itself as the world's largest resort hotel. It closed its doors after 48 years on Nov. 1, 2006.

• July 4, 1835 - To rid the town of gamblers, the town of Vicksburg, Mississippi orders all gamblers to leave town within 24 hours or suffer the consequences. The few that didn’t leave were caught and hung. (Today, Vicksburg, has four Las Vegas size casinos in which you'll find more than 3,381 slots and gaming machines. There is also a total of 65 table games offered at the four casinos).

• July 5, 1973 - The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino opens on the Las Vegas Strip. At the time, with 5005 rooms it is the largest hotel in the U.S. and the world.

• July 7, 1875 - Joseph Jaggers, an English engineer, places his first bet at roulette in the Monte Carlo casino, in Monaco. He is the first person to learn that roulette wheels can sometimes be “biased.” He continuously makes bets on nine specific numbers and in very short time wins over $325,000 before he quits. (a little over $5,000,000 in today’s dollars).

• July 14, 1951 - CBS television broadcast the first color telecast of a sporting event, a horse race. The race was the Molly Pitcher Handicap, a 1 1/16 mile at the Monmouth Park Jockey Club in Oceanport, NJ.

• July 21, 1931 - The race track in Reno, Nevada becomes first in the U.S. to use daily double wagering.

• July 31, 1969 - Elvis Presley returns to Las Vegas at the International Hotel & Casino (later Las Vegas Hilton) and is a smash hit. He had received lukewarm reviews from Las Vegas show goers when he debuted at the New Frontier as a 21-year-old rock ’n’ roller back in 1956. He does 837 sold-out shows between 1969 and 1977 at a reported salary of $125,000 a week.

BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW

• In 1975, over nine million visited Las Vegas, a little over 40 years later, in 2018, it was reported 40 million visitors showed up, and they pumped almost $60 billion dollars into the local economy.

• The dog on the Cracker Jack package is named “Bingo.”

• The largest Megabucks jackpot ever won in Las Vegas was $39.7 million dollars. The Excalibur Hotel and Casino had the hot machine in March of 2003. The jackpot winner was a 25-year-old man that was visiting Las Vegas for the NCAA Basketball Tournament. He was lucky enough to turn his $100-dollar investment into an overwhelming $1.5 million dollars a year for the next 25 years.

• More than three million people regularly play bingo in the UK.

• “Lay down” is an old gambling term for a session of play at a gambling table.

• The average reign of a heavyweight-boxing champion is about three years. Joe Louis held the heavyweight crown for twelve years: June 1937- March 1949 and defended his title 25 times.

• There are no legal casinos in existence in Japan. However, there are 16,000 pachinko parlors located in the country, with five million machines. It’s technically illegal for pachinko parlors to hand out money directly to patrons. The parlors issue tokens instead, which can be redeemed for cash at nearby cashing stations outside the parlor, run by a separate token-redeeming business.

• In November 1994, Britain created a national lottery – after 168 years of prohibition.
Recent Articles
Best of John Marchel
John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine.

Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

John Marchel Websites:

johnmarchelgambling.com

Books by John Marchel:

KISS Guide to Gambling

> More Books By John Marchel

John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine.

Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

John Marchel Websites:

johnmarchelgambling.com

Books by John Marchel:

101 Casino Gambling Tips: Affordable Strategies & Techniques for Maximizing Profits & Reducing Loses

> More Books By John Marchel