Florestan, the first of his name, prince of Monaco (but not the Andals or the First Men) issued an edict on April 26, 1856, that permitted a pair of developers to begin constructing a “bathing establishment” in his principality. That establishment would eventually become the Monte Carlo casino.
There’s plenty more about Monte Carlo in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling.
Among Stanley Ho’s possessions in Macau (in addition to his many casinos) is the Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Center, which at the time of its construction was the tenth-highest tower in the world.
You can learn more about Stanley Ho’s career in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling.
What a Guy!
One of the most important figures in 1940s Las Vegas gambling got his start on the right side of the law, crossed over to the wrong side, and then came back. Guy McAfee was a vice squad commander in the Los Angeles Police Department, who, it was discovered, had ownership interests in several illegal casinos. Resigning rather than facing corruption charges, he moved to Las Vegas, where he was involved with several legal casinos. He’s best known as the founder of the Golden Nugget.
There’s lots more about the early figures of Las Vegas gambling in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling.
Moby Dick on the Strip
You might know Moby Dick as a seminal 19th century American novel. Or, if your tastes run that way, a John Bonham drum solo vehicle. But it was also the name of a seafood restaurant at the Stardust that opened in the late 1950s.
There’s plenty more about casino restaurants (but, regrettably, not much about cetaceans) in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling.
A Winning Prince
A winning streak helped to make Bad Homburg’s reputation as one of Europe’s elite gambling resorts. In September 1852, the Prince of Canino, Charles Lucien Bonaparte, won more than a half-million francs from that spa town’s casino. The big win gave the casino plenty of “free” publicity, though, and in the end helped draw more visitors to the town.
You can learn more about Bad Homburg and other 19th century spas in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling.
Bad Debts in Las Vegas
For years, Nevada casinos could not legally collect debts from gamblers they’d extended credit (or, in the industry parlance, given markers) to. That changed in 1983, when the state legislature amended the law to allow casinos to prosecute deadbeat marker-takers for writing bad checks.
That’s one of the interesting facts about the changing legal face of Nevada gambling you’ll learn in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling.
Gambling the Chicago Way, Circa 1850
It didn’t take long for the Windy City to develop a reputation as a center for illegal gambling. By the 1850s, there were a host of upscale but dishonest skinning houses near Lake and State streets, and lower-amenity gambling in a rough part of town known as the Sands (this area has no known connection to the later Las Vegas casino of the same name).
You can learn plenty more about Chicago’s long gambling historyin Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling.