Gambling through the Decades

Gambling through the DecadesTaking a look at the history of Las Vegas can give us an idea of how it became the gambling capital of the world.

In the first decade of the 20th century, many states decided that gaming was a corrupt activity, and therefore should be outlawed. Among the Western States, Nevada was the last to comply. The law that prohibited gambling was made effective in Nevada on the midnight of October 1, 1910.

However, even with this prohibition, many underground gaming places were soon set up. Gambling, though illegal, became accepted. Patrons only needed to know the proper password and they once again were given the chance to try their luck at different forms of gambling.

A rancher by the name of Phil Tobin authored a gambling bill which aimed to legalize the said activity. According to Tobin, if gambling will be legalized, then the government will have the right to collect taxes from the proprietors of the gambling dens and the patrons alike. These taxes, in turn, will provide the state with funds, which at that time, was needed by the public schools. This bill was approved by the Nevada Legislature in 1931.

From this time on, gambling became a consistently present industry in Nevada. It was around even in the time of the Great Depression. Though small, it generated substantial income for those involved. It was one of the contributing factors that helped insulate the citizens of Nevada from the economic problems that were being experienced by most Americans at that time.

In 1942, Tommy Hull, a hotelman, built the El-Rancho Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The hotel-casino became a success. This encouraged other businessmen to do the same. As a result, during the 1940s, the double-lane highway from Los Angeles to Las Vegas became the site of many such hotel-casinos, including Club Bingo, Last Frontier, and Thunderbird. The latter still exists up to now, but it has been renamed The Arubu Hotel and Spa. This highway is now called the Las Vegas Strip.

Now, the gambling places in Las Vegas do their best to keep up with all the popular games, machines, and gambling styles. They don’t only operate the standard card games, but they also have the newest and most advanced slot and video machines. The newest technological development in gambling today is credit card wagering. With the help of specialized slot machines, patrons can now place bets using their own credit cards.

Finding Las Vegas

Finding Las VegasLas Vegas is known as a city of lights and sights. Many tourists from all over the country and all over the world come and visit it to enjoy the different attractions. However, unlike other tourist destinations, little is known about the history of Las Vegas. It may not seem like it, but Las Vegas has been around for a long time. It celebrated its 100th year of existence last May 15, 2005.

In prehistoric times, the area occupied by Las Vegas today was covered by lots of water. As a result, many kinds of vegetation grew and both plant and animal life flourished. However, as many years went by, the rivers that once flowed all over receded, and could only be found underground. The water was trapped beneath the surface, and the landscape became dry and arid. It was not able to support as much life as it used to. Only those animals who could withstand the heat and survive on minimal water continued to make their home there. However, water from the underground rivers makes its way up to the surface from time to time, giving life to some of these plants and animals. This created an oasis in the middle of an unforgiving desert.

Rafael Rivera, a Mexican scout and a member of a party who was making its way to Los Angeles, discovered the oasis in 1829. The party, led by Antonio Armijo, a trader, was going along the Spanish Trail. However, they went the wrong way and got lost. Rafael Rivera found the Las Vegas Springs when he went into the desert to search for water. Thus, he is said to be the first ever non-Indian to enter Las Vegas.

After the area was discovered by Rafael Rivera, it became a usual stop for Spanish traders on their way to Los Angeles. The water in the oasis replenished their supplies, and consequently eased the burden of having to travel such a long distance. Initially, the area was called “Vegas”, but the name was changed to “Las Vegas”, which means “the meadows” in Spanish, in 1848.

Aside from these Spanish traders, many other groups of people made their way to Las Vegas. The first of these was an expedition led by John C. Fremont 14 years after the discovery. Also, in 1855, a group of Mormons traveled to Las Vegas with the purpose of protecting the Los Angeles to Salt Lake City Mail Route.