Las Vegas. The city of sin and a high electricity bill. Bright lights and slot machines draw in over 40 million people to this bustling city, which is largely considered to be the home of gambling. As the economic backbone of the state of Nevada, Las Vegas has been a steadfast attraction in gambling history but it was not built overnight.
The Origins of the City of Sin
Las Vegas is quite a new city when you look at its history is compared to the rest of history. After being founded as a tiny town in the middle of the Nevada desert, it was just a pit stop for travellers stopping between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles.
The Legalisation of Gambling
Though it was illegal at the time, this did not stop the population of America partaking in underground and outlawed betting games. This continued in Las Vegas until the actual legalisation of gambling in 1931, where the city saw a massive boost to the economy following the Wall Street Crash. From this point on, Las Vegas became an economically steady city within the USA.
The Hoover Dam
In the same year, construction began on the Hoover Dam. This also brought floods of workers into the city to build it. This dam also provided power to the states of Nevada, Arizona, and California. To this day, the dam still provides energy to some of Nevada.
Eventually, the “strip” that we have come to know and love today began to be built with numerous casino hotels popping up into existence. The first official casino that existed in Las Vegas was Pair-o-dice, which was built on Highway 91. Following this, many other casinos and casino hotels began popping up all the way up and down the strip with the majority of these being run by large crime groups in the area. In fact, one of the most famous on the strip was owned by an infamous mobster, Bugsy Seigel. This was called the Flamingo.
Eventually, Vegas became a place for the stars as more and more famous performers would make the journey to perform for the masses as they toured the city of sin. Massive names like Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and Dean Martin are to name but a few. And with celebrities like this visiting the city regularly, it was no surprise that the city soon became known as the entertainment capital. How could it not with the combination of an all-star lineup and the presence of gambling.
A Place With Problems
Despite all of the exciting improvements made to Las Vegas, it was still not without its problems. Organised crime operated at a staggering rate and thrived on the gambling scene. There were multiple attempts to stop and further prevent this but it was only when Nevada’s senator McCarran stepped in that it was put to a stop.
There was also a lot of problems within Las Vegas when it came to racial discrimination. Hispanic and African American people were not allowed in the casinos whatsoever. There were limited to the west side of Las Vegas. However, in 1955, during the struggle for civil rights, the Moulin Rouge was built. This was the first racially integrated hotel-casino and stood as a symbol for civil rights in Las Vegas. The casino offered a look into what racially integrated Las Vegas could be. This made way for the planned march of 1960. The objective of this march was to get rid of the discriminatory policies in casinos at the time. However, it never needed to go ahead as the top gaming executives of Las Vegas agreed to allow African Americans to gamble at their casinos.
Nowadays, Las Vegas is a place where you can see nearly anything and everything! So, if you are wanting an entertaining trip away, Vegas is the place for you.