Highlands Resort Malaysia - the original Gentings  For those who enjoy the old-fashioned allure of a bricks and mortar casino, the name Genting will be immediately familiar. The Malaysia-based company operates around 40 different casinos in the UK alone – more than any other company. When gaming fans visit a Genting casino, they know exactly what to expect. And the quick and easy membership process means that joining one casino means the gamer has joined them all.

 

Some might argue that while the uniformity of the service offering might represent a great business model, it does mean that the experience can become a little routine. In other words, when you’ve visited one, you’ve visited them all. That’s true to an extent. However, what many people fail to realize is that the Genting model started from one man making his impossible dream a reality. Let’s take a look at the remarkable story of Highlands Resort Malaysia.

 

A man with a dream

 

In 1964, industrialist and entrepreneur Lim Goh Tong was on a business trip in Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands. He was immediately taken with the fresh, mountain air and decided that his home city of Kuala Lumpur needed something similar. Only he wanted to create more than just a hotel. He envisaged a casino resort the like of which Malaysia had never seen.

 

Now today, large scale developments are commonplace. Likewise, casinos are popping up in both the physical and virtual worlds every day, and we can visit one in a major city or play live table games in cyberspace whenever we like. Despite all this, Lim Goh Tong’s idea still sounds ambitious. Now consider the context of 1960s Malaysia. There wasn’t a casino in the entire country, and as for a mountain – well, the closest one to Kuala Lumpur was around 200KM away, covered in dense forest and completely devoid of basic essentials like a water or electricity supply.

 

The dream becomes a reality

 

These, however, were simply obstacles that had to be negotiated, and that is exactly what the Genting pioneer did. Over six years, he cleared around 10,000 acres of forest, and created an entire infrastructure of roads and utilities to make his dream of a mountain resort into a reality. In 1971, the Malaysian Government granted Genting Resort the country’s first casino license. 38 years later, they have yet to issue a second one, so Genting remains a unique destination on the Malaysia tourist trail.

 

Despite its monopoly when it comes to Malaysia’s land-based gambling market, the resort has not stood still. While the Genting name has spread across the globe, Lim Goh Tong’s mountain getaway has moved with the times, too. Today, visitors can arrive in style by cable car, and when they get there, there’s plenty to do, even for those who are not keen gamblers. Resorts World Genting, as it is now known, has become a family destination, offering shops, fine dining and even supervised children’s entertainment. That’s ideal for parents who need something for the youngsters to do in safety while they check out the adult playground inside!

History of Roulette & Interesting Facts  The invention of roulette is credited to seventeenth-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal, who happened upon the idea when investigating not games of chance, but perpetual motion. Modern roulette is similar, in many ways, to two contemporary gambling games of the day, known as ‘Roly Poly’ and ‘Even/Odd’. Of course time waits for no man, and nowadays you’re as likely to hear of someone inputting a promotional code genting, or having a big roulette win online, as you are in an offline bricks and mortar environment.

A recognisably modern roulette wheel – albeit with both a single and double zero – became popular in casinos throughout France and Monaco in the late eighteenth century. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the roulette wheel was overhauled by two French brothers, Louis and Francois Blanc, who removed the double zero pocket and, in so doing, created the modern French, or European, roulette table. Following the February Revolution in France in 1848, roulette was exported to the United States by French émigrés, but the European version was not well received by American administrators, who reintroduced the double zero pocket to create what henceforth became known as American roulette.

Did You Know?

‘Roulette’ is a diminutive meaning a small wheel, from the French word ‘rouelle’, meaning a wheel.

The first man to ‘break the bank’ at the Casino de Monte-Carlo or, in other words, to win more than the 100,000 francs set aside to cover liabilities on each roulette table, was a Yorkshireman named Joseph Jagger. In 1873, Jagger took advantage of a biased roulette wheel to win 2,000,000 francs, or the equivalent of £7.5 million by modern standards.

So-called ‘triple zero’ roulette – which, as the name suggests, features triple, double and single zero pockets – was first introduced, as ‘Sands Roulette’, at The Venetian, Las Vegas in 2016 and is, nowadays, offered by numerous casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.

Single zero roulette offers a house edge of 2.7%, double zero roulette offers a house edge of 5.26% and triple zero roulette offers a house edge of 7.69%. Even in the single zero version, a bet placed on, say, red or black, or odd or even, which pays even money, does not have a 50% chance of winning; the presence of the green single zero pocket reduces the chance of winning any such bet to 48.64%.

Rags to Riches  The history of gambling, in Las Vegas and elsewhere, is awash with ‘rags to riches’ and, indeed, ‘riches to rags’ stories, but none is quite as dramatic, on both counts, as the story of the gambler popularly known as Archie Karas. Born Anargyros Karabourniotis in Kefalonia, Karas had already won, and lost, millions of dollars playing high-stakes poker in Los Angeles before arriving in Las Vegas with a mere $50 to his name. Having secured a loan of $10,000 from an associate – whom he repaid, double, with 24 hours – Karas embarked upon the longest documented winning streak in gambling his story. Between 1992 and 1995, he played high-stakes poker against some of the best players in the world, including Stu Ungar and Chip Reese, and amassed $40 million. However, when his fortunes took a turn for the worse, they did so catastrophically; in the space of two months, he lost the whole £40 million playing baccarat and craps for astronomically high stakes, as was his custom. Looks like he should’ve stuck to poker, or in this, the internet age, pokieslistings.com to keep his baalnce balance moving in the right direction.

Of course, plenty of other people have gone from poverty to wealth, and vice versa, as the result of gambling activities of one form or another. Historically, Charles De Ville Wells, later dubbed ‘Monte Carlo’ Wells, was one of the men who broke the bank at Monte Carlo. In 1891, using what he described as an ‘infallible system’, Wells turned $4,000 into $1 million, or the equivalent of about $28 million by modern standards.

Much more recently, in 2005, 92-year-old World War II veteran Elmer Sherwin achieved what he called his ‘life’s dream’ when winning the progressive jackpot on a Megabucks slot machine for the second time. Sherwin won his first Megabucks jackpot, $4.6 million, at the Mirage, on the Las Vegas Strip, in 1989 and thereafter actively pursued winning it again. His persistence finally paid off when, sixteen years later, at the Cannery Casino in North Las Vegas, he lined up the ‘Megabucks’ symbols again and won $21.1 million for his $3 stake. There have been some massive Megabucks slots wins over the years, so Elmer has joined an elite group.

On the darker side, former Fry’s Electronics’ executive Ausaf Umar ‘Omar’ Siddiqui reportedly spent $162 million – $65 million of which he defrauded from his employer – in Las Vegas in a three-year period from 2005 onwards. Siddiqui was subsequently charged with money laundering and wire fraud. In a similar vein, in what was later described as a ‘year-long gambling binge’, Chinese businessman and celebrated high-roller Terry Watanabe lost nearly $127 million, mainly playing blackjack, badly, at Caesars Palace and the Rio in Las Vegas in 2007.

Casino Games - Three Card Poker  Three card poker is a version of poker invented with the purpose of maintaining the competitive nature of poker, while making it faster. The game has since generated substantial revenue for casinos compared to most other casino games. Invented in 1994 by Derek Webb, the game is played using two modes of play. These two modes pit the player’s hand against the dealer’s. The first method of play is the ante mode and the second is the play wager.

The ante wager is dependent on the fact that the players hand will be better than the dealers hand. The ante and play wagers are placed before the cards are dealt. The player is then dealt their cards face down. After having a peak at their combination of cards, the player can then decide whether to proceed with the play wager. The cards are then compared to see who between the player and the dealer has a better hand. If the dealer wins, the player loses both the ante and play wagers. A player can also look at their cards and decide to fold, in which case they lose the ante wager. There is an ante bonus which the player wins if they get a straight flush, straight or three of a kind.

The game has become popular since its introduction because it’s more straightforward in nature than traditional poker. It is also fast paced so players canp lay more hands per hour than most table games involving cards. This can make for thrilling winning streaks if a player’s luck is in. Or dramatic ups and downs if the players fortunes are more variable.