Gambling through the Decades

Posted by admin on December 16th, 2009 filed in Las Vegas History

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.