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Las Vegas Gambling History

Las Vegas, Nevada History

Las Vegas the entertainment capital of the world is the place where fun is a constant factor. Today, the city has a flourishing gambling business but this trade was not built overnight. Las Vegas History has seen some real tough times and faced many difficulties before reaching the smooth sailing Las Vegas is experiencing today. The ‘most’ major thrust was provided when the state of Nevada legalized gambling, Las Vegas hasn’t looked back ever since.

Las Vegas history, an interesting story

Las Vegas city is situated at Nevada. Once a wet marshland changed into an arid, parched landscape as the years went by. The rivers that used to flow on the surface went below surface. The water some time came to surface to nourish the vegetation on the surface. An oasis was thus formed. Spanish explorers were the ones who discovered Las Vegas and gave it its name. Las Vegas means “meadows” as the place was green luxurious land by natural sources. Las Vegas was the oasis on the Spanish trail to the city of California.

The Mormon influence on Las Vegas

Mormon missionaries settled in the valley. The missionaries cultivated land and also build a fort for protection for the travelers on the Los Angeles trail. Two years later they abandoned the place as they were running into losses. The fort still stands and is the oldest witness of Las Vegas history. Rafael Rivera was the first known non Indian to arrive at Las Vegas valley.

The Hoover dam effect

The Las Vegas town site was established in 1905 while the city of Las Vegas was established in 1911. The building of the Hoover dam brought many thousands of people to the site in 1931. The dam provided power to the states of Nevada, California and Arizona and it still does to some parts of the state.

Legalization of gambling in Las Vegas

Another event that played a very important role in shaping the Las Vegas history was the legalization of casino gambling in Nevada. Nevada was the first state to legalize casino gambling during the Great Depression. To be exact Gambling was legalized on March 13, 1931, literally transforming the state of Nevada and specially the Las Vegas history. Las Vegas was on the way to become ‘the gambler’s paradise’. As a result the gambling and the gaming industry just boomed after the Second World War. Due to the licensing the gambling industry became more organized. The first license was issued to the Northern Club. Legalization has provided the thrust that gambling provided.

The Glitter Gulch

The “Strip”, the street with a number of casino hotels came into existence. Pair-o-dice was the first casino that was built in 1931 on the Highway 91 while El Rancho Vegas was the first hotel to be erected on what we know as strip today. The Bugsy Siegel's Flamingo Hotel opened on December 26, 1946 was another turning point.
The Glitter Gulch also has his share of casinos like the Las Vegas club and the Apache Hotel. Many casinos and resorts came up as the fame of Las Vegas grew.
Most of the casinos were owned by organized crime groups but Meyer Lansky was a major influence in the city. Las Vegas was no more the small performer’s dream big names like Presley, Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Dean Martin etc. were performing in special performances. The casino center showcased spectacular performances by the top performers of the country. Soon Las Vegas came to be known as the Entertainment Capital of the world, a permanent place for wholesome entertainment.

The hindrances on the way to glory

The city has reached to today success passing many hurdles on the way. The city has survived the forces of racial tension and many administrative glitches on its way to crowning glory.

The first glitch
The first major problem was that the strip was outside the Las Vegas proper that had lead to revenue loss. To avoid the annexation of the Strip by the city authorities the strip properties were organized into an unincorporated township, Paradise city as that was against the Nevada law.

The second hurdle
The second hindrance was Hank Greenspun; the editor of Las Vegas Sun had set his heart and soul in exposing anybody related to criminal activities. The man was after anything remotely linked to corruption anywhere and everywhere. He exposed the Clark country sheriff Glen Jones.

The third problem
The third and final frontier was the investigation by the senator Kefauver and the senate special committee to investigate crime in interstate commerce. The special committee came to the conclusion that money from the organized crime was linked with to Las Vegas casinos. Only the influence of Nevada’s senator McCarran helped.

The racial mess
Las Vegas was now also a place where racial discriminations were leading to racial tensions. African American and Hispanics were not allowed inside the casinos. They had to restrict themselves to the ‘west-side’ only. Moulin rouge was an up market casino, a welcome break; though it lasted for only some time it showed the way. When the whole region was fighting for civil rights Las Vegas also participated in the struggle. Mayor Oran Gragson championed the Pauite cause and made infrastructure improvements for them. Slowly and steadily the city found its present state of recognition.

Visit the dazzling Vegas, today!

Today Las Vegas is a humming with anything, everything that is spectacular. You have everything from dazzling shows, entertaining tours and exciting clubs. Celine Dion and Barry Manilow shows are being presently held in the city.

Las Vegas the epitome of wholesome entertainment

If you are on a lookout for a place to have a gala time, visit Las Vegas, Nevada to have an experience of a lifetime. So why wait, pack your bags and come to the paradise on earth, the gala city on earth where you surely will have a gala time. Celebrate life at Las Vegas, a paradise city that is a performer’s dream and a viewer’s delight.

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Contact information

City of Las Vegas

495 S. Main St.
Las Vegas, NV 89101

Governed by: Nevada Gambling Authority

555 East Washington Avenue
Suite 2600
Las Vegas, NV 89101

Phone (702) 486-2000