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5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Monte Carlo Casino

The Monte Carlo Casino – officially named the Casino de Monte-Carlo – is the biggest entertainment and gambling complex in the Principality of Monaco.

It is owned and operated by the Societe des bains de mer de Monaco (SBM), a public company in which the ruling royal family and Monaco government have a majority interest.

Read on as we take a closer look at five interesting things you didn’t know about the iconic Monte Carlo Casino.

Bingo Has Only Just Landed in Monaco

Despite many other jurisdictions tapping into the popularity of bingo to boost their gambling revenues, Monaco has been slow to jump on the bandwagon.

In addition to running the Monte Carlo, the SBM also controls the Cafe de Paris where it only recently installed the first ever video bingo machines in the principality.

Players in Monaco had traditionally favoured casino games such as blackjack, craps and roulette, but bingo already appears to have made its mark.

There are plans to introduce more bingo games in Monaco to back up the success that online sites have enjoyed with the game in recent years.

Monegasques are Banned from Casinos

Another strange quirk of the gambling scene in Monaco is that local people are not allowed to play at the Monte Carlo Casino.

When Princess Caroline came up with the idea for the first Monaco casino, she decided that it was important for locals to retain as much of their salary as possible.

A rule was introduced to ban locals from gambling in the casino in exchange for an exemption from paying a tax on their income.

However, local citizens are now able to circumvent the rule by signing up for accounts with online gambling sites.

Poker Pro Attempts Blackjack Coup

The casino received massive publicity in 1873 when a player called Joseph Jagger famously ‘broke the bank at Monte Carlo’ by taking advantage of bias on a roulette wheel.

Other instances of ‘breaking the bank’ followed, thus creating difficult financial situations for the casino’s management to resolve.

In modern times, poker professional Andy Bloch was famously part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) team that tried to beat casinos at blackjack.

Bloch used card counting techniques and more sophisticated strategies to achieve the feat on repeated visits to Monte Carlo.

Hollywood Makes its Mark in Monte Carlo

The Monte Carlo Casino has been associated with numerous James Bond films and was also used as a location for the hit movie Ocean’s Twelve.

Director Steven Soderbergh took the entire production team on the road for ten weeks to shoot the movie in Monaco, Paris, Amsterdam, Lake Como, Rome, Sicily and Chicago.

Starring a plethora of top stars including George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, the movie became the tenth highest grossing film of 2004.

The casino also makes an appearance in Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, where the gang are relentlessly pursued by murderous Monaco-based animal control officer Captain Chantel DuBois.

Monte Carlo and Gambler’s Fallacy

Many players make the mistake of believing that luck comes in streaks – an ethos that has famously come to be known as the ‘gambler’s fallacy’.

This was highlighted perfectly at the Monte Carlo Casino back in August 1913, with an improbable run of results in roulette costing gamblers thousands.

The ball landed on black 26 times in a row and as the streak lengthened people wagered more and more on red, believing that their chances of success changed with each spin.

However, the chances of the ball landing in black or red are the same on each individual spin, perfectly highlighting the flawed thought processes in play.

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