3 Crazy Gambling Facts that Changed the Course of History

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Gambling has been a part of human history since time immemorial. According to some studies, its history dates back thousands of years ago in China, when people back then began putting money on animal fights, as well as involving themselves in games such as lotto and dominoes.

Of course, there are gambling stories that made a mark in history, and through this article, we look back at the three most notable ones.

FedEx Was Saved from Bankruptcy Through Gambling

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Among all overnight delivery companies in the world, FedEx is one name that would definitely stand out. As the first company of its kind in the 1970’s, it pretty much introduced the world to the concept of quicker shipping to any part of the globe.

But during its first two years of operation, the company began to bleed out money, mainly due to constant expenses on fuel. As they approached the brink of bankruptcy, founder Frederick Smith decided to take action by flying to Las Vegas with the hopes of taking back home a hefty amount through blackjack.

With only $5,000 left in the company’s bank account, Smith brought it all along with him in Sin City and used it all up. Lucky for him, he was able to win $27,000, which was enough to keep the company afloat for another week.

FedEx eventually regained its footing and began to slowly but surely become the powerhouse company that it is today. All thanks to a gambling trip to Las Vegas.

Nevada’s State Prison Was Also a Casino for Inmates

The state of Nevada seems to celebrate the idea of being the United States’ gambling capital way too much. It was proven through the existence of a casino inside its state prison for a total of 35 years.

This setup ran through the penitentiary from 1932 until 1967, where inmates played poker, craps, and blackjack inside its “Bullpen”. Talk about giving those incarcerated a free afternoon of activities.

A new warden eventually stepped in to put a halt to the operation, bringing everyone inside back to the harsh reality that prison should never be a place for that much fun.

Ben Affleck Was Banned from a Las Vegas Casino Because of Card Counting

Who knew that Bruce Wayne also had Rainman’s tricks in his arsenal? Hollywood A-Lister Ben Affleck actually learned how to do some card counting, but unlike the slicksters that we see in the movies, he actually paid a price for it.

It all happened in 2014, when Affleck was playing a game of Blackjack at the Hard Rock Café. After a few win streaks, a security guard approached the actor and told him he was “too good.”

As the story goes, Affleck was thrown out from the casino and was subsequently slapped with a ban. Because while card counting is not exactly illegal, private entities like casino have the right to take action on patrons who do this practice.

It was definitely a lesson learned for Ben Affleck, who is now forbidden by many casinos to even come close to a blackjack table, even though he is still being offered complimentary dinners from time to time.

Were these facts crazy enough to surprise you? It just goes to show that gambling is indeed embedded deep within America’s culture in more ways than one.



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