Las Vegas Casino History
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In this article, we take a look at Las Vegas casino history. That includes all the information you need to know about how Nevada has grown over the last 100 years. The history of Las Vegas is truly remarkable to behold. We hope that you will enjoy reading up about it below.

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Las Vegas Casino History: An Introduction

The global epicentre of gaming has traditionally been seen as Las Vegas. The city was the host to numerous casinos that came and went after legalizing the first ones in 1931. In this article, we examine Las Vegas’s history in its entirety.

Flamingo Las Vegas is without a doubt one of Nevada’s oldest and most illustrious casinos. It debuted as a pioneering luxury hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip in 1946, under the direction of infamous criminal Bugsy Siegel. The opulent hotel-original casino’s name was Pink Flamingo.

Another casino in the Golden Nugget Casino opened up that same year. The casino, which was established in 1946, is still standing today in the heart of Las Vegas. It includes more than 2,420 rooms and is the location of numerous games.

Las Vegas experienced another change twenty years after the opening of the Golden Nugget Casino. In 1966, Howard Hughes made the decision to stay in the Desert Inn’s penthouse. Instead of leaving, he acquired the hotel and invested an additional $300 million in additional Las Vegas hotels and casinos.

An Introduction to the Early Years

The name of Las Vegas is derived from the Spanish term for “The Meadows.” The name was given by a caravan of Mexican traders that stopped in Nevada while traveling to Los Angeles. Las Vegas was still regarded as Mexican territory at this time.

It is believed that Mexican tourists passing through Las Vegas in the 1800s enjoyed gaming. However, due to a number of rules prohibiting games of chance, it was technically against the law. Gambling was made legal in 1869.

The Las Vegas Strip

Las Vegas Casino History

In Clark County, the Las Vegas Strip extends from Las Vegas Boulevard South. Casinos and resort hotels abound there. The Strip, as it is referred as in Nevada, is 4.2 miles long in total. For our readers in Europe, that is roughly 6.8 kilometers.

Gambling was decriminalized in 1869, but the Progressive Movement amended the legislation to outlaw the majority of games that involved betting. This made gambling illegal, but it turns out that the majority of gamers could still gamble illegally in Las Vegas’ backrooms. This continued up until Nevada’s re-legalization of Las Vegas in 1931.

Las Vegas Casino History: The First Casinos

The El Rancho Vegas, run by Thomas Hull, was the first hotel-resort on the Las Vegas Strip before the Pink Flamingo opened in 1941. This was merely a stepping stone; however, New York City gangster Bugsy Siegel elevated the game to entirely new heights. The Flamingo was far bigger than expected and brought attention to Nevada. Although Siegel was assassinated the next year, his reputation lived on as more mobster-funded casino resorts popped up in Las Vegas in the years that followed.

Las Vegas Today

As the 20th century came to a close, Las Vegas expanded greatly in both size and repute. While celebrities like The Rat Pack and Howard Hughes brought attention to Vegas, the city itself began to have more casinos and resorts. As a result, the sole Wild West outlaw city evolved into the current epicenter of gaming.

With the opening of the MGM Grand, Bellagio, and Treasure Island, Las Vegas really shot for the stars in the 1980s and 1990s. Las Vegas has experienced various economic ups and downs from the 2000s to the present, but it has remained the world’s gambling capital throughout.

A Look at Las Vegas Casino History

Las Vegas Casino History

  • Las Vegas legalized gambling in 1931. This happened following the Hoover Dam project, which drew thousands of people into the city. The city experienced a boom due to an infusion of money after legalized gambling.
  • El Rancho Vegas, under the direction of Thomas Hull, welcomed customers in 1941. The first ever hotel casino was this one.
  • The Pink Flamengo, later known as Flamingo Las Vegas, was founded by Bugsy Siegel in 1946. Jump ahead a few years. The first hotel-casino resort to open, it caught the interest of many affluent civilians. Even though Siegel was killed a year later, this represented a significant advance for Las Vegas casinos since other organized crime figures invested after Siegel.
  • In 1973, The Holiday Casino was opened. It was renamed Harrah’s in 1992, and it presently has more than 1,200 slot machines.
  • 1980 was a difficult year for Vegas as a fire that broke out in the MGM Grand Casino resulted in 85 civilian deaths and 785 injuries. Sadly, this was Las Vegas’s deadliest gambling accident in history.
  • The Las Vegas Hilton was burned down by Philip Cline the next year. Eight people lost their lives as a result, while 200 more were hurt. After the fire, the hotel was also completely destroyed.
  • Between 1981 and 1984, heavyweight boxing matches held at Caesar’s Palace helped the venue gain popularity. Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Muhammed Ali all come to mind. The Caesars Palace Grand Prix was held in the casino resort during that time.
  • The Mirage, a massive resort, debuted in Las Vegas for the first time in 1989. The subsequent several decades would see many more like this one.

The 90s

  • Opening in Las Vegas in 1993, the eighth-largest casino resort in the world has 4,407 rooms. The Luxor is still quite popular and well-known for its enigmatic sky beam and pyramid architecture.
  • In 1996, the Hacienda closes but later is replaced by the Mandalay Bay casino in 1999.
  • In 1999, The Venetian opens as is the largest casino resort on the Las Vegas Strip. It was the largest in the world for a good few years before the Venetian Macau opened in 2007.
  • The 1980s and 1990s were big years for the MIT Blackjack Team. The team consisted of four former US army officials who had studied engineering. They used their mathematical skills for card counting blackjack games and taking Las Vegas casinos by storm. At the time, card counting was not considered cheating, with the group achieving legendary status for being able to exploit casinos using statistics. They did, however, get banned from setting foot in many casinos along the Las Vegas Strip.
  • Another sad date in Las Vegas history was 1993 when casino director Steve Wynn’s daughter was kidnapped from her home in Nevada. This forced the billionaire to pay $1.45 million in ransom. Thankfully, the abductors were caught when one of them, Ray Cuddy, decided to pay $200,000 in cash to buy a new Ferrari.

Present Day

The Fountains of Bellagio

  • The Fountains of Bellagio became a massive hit and attraction for people visiting Las Vegas. The Bellagio casino and hotel resort developed dancing water fountains that were synchronized to music. This also played host to the world-famous Cirque du Soleil production of “O”.
  • In 2013, Sarah Guillot-Guyard, an aerialist performer for Cirque du Soleil, fell to her death whilst performing at the MGM Grand Casino.
  • 2015 was the year in which Kirk Kerkorian, “The Father of Las Vegas”, died in his Beverly Hills home at the age of 98. He helped mould Las Vegas into becoming the gambling home of casinos it is today. For further reference, he owned big name casinos like the MGM Grand, Bellagio, Mirage, Mandalay Bay and Luxor.

Las Vegas is the home to 15 of the largest 25 hotels in the world. In fact, there are more than 120 casinos in Las Vegas. According to the latest statistics, the population of Las Vegas is 634,773 locals.

The Bottom Line

Thus, to conclude on Las Vegas casino history, we hope that this has been an eye opener for you. The history of the great state of Nevada is truly blessed from the older ages to the present day. With gangsters, mobs, illegal and legal casinos flourishing, Las Vegas has seen it all. You can play many similar online Vegas slots at our jackpot games site.

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