Las Vegas has everything from extravagant concerts to the sizzling nightlife and poolside parties. However, gaming is virtually always the top priority when it comes to Las Vegas. You may not be a fan of card games, but most people end up playing the slot machines on their way back to their hotel room. This is how a desert town went from a European settlement to a haven for casino goers.
According to archeologists’ claims, ancient Native American tribes inhabited Southern Nevada for thousands of years before European settlers arrived in the 19th century. Las Vegas is one of the most popular hubs or ports for gambling activities. Las Vegas is full of party centers and gambling corners and pools and what not.
It has been hundreds of years since the vibrant land was once a moist marshland but has dried out into an arid desert now in Las Vegas. When the Spanish explorer Rafael Rivera discovered the oasis in 1829 while traveling the Old Spanish Trail to California, he named it Las Vegas, or “the meadows,” in honor of the lush valley grasses. Mexican and Mormon settlers arrived in Las Vegas throughout the next century and ultimately left. Until 1905, when a train was built connecting the city to the Pacific Coast’s significant towns, little had changed in Portland. Railroad investors designed and auctioned off plans for a new downtown. In 1911, Las Vegas became a city.
Public Domain of the casinos in Las Vegas
Formed by railroad and ranchers, the town echoed Old West beliefs. Organized crime thrived as a result of the influx of prostitutes and gamblers. Despite Nevada’s prohibition on gambling in 1910, speakeasies and bootleg casinos continued to operate, and numerous East Coast mobsters immediately established themselves in the city. Construction on the Hoover Dam west of Las Vegas began in 1931, bringing hundreds of employees to the site. New casinos and showgirl venues came up along Fremont Street, the city’s only paved road, hoping to recruit employees after gambling was allowed.
El Rancho Vegas resort, the first hotel on Highway 91, opened its doors in 1941. The name ‘the Strip’ was soon adopted by other hotel casinos in the area. When Bugsy Siegel, supported by Meyer Lansky’s Mexican drug money and profits, founded the Flamingo in 1946, it attracted some of the best talent and celebrities in the business. However, many other criminals followed in the footsteps of Siegel, who was killed in 1947 but whose vision for Sin City was carried out by others. The hotel-casino was used to launder money from drug trafficking and other criminal business operations. Many mobsters acquired financing from respected institutions like Wall Street banks and the Mormon Church to pay for construction. Tourists rushed to Vegas for gambling, slot machines, and watching famous entertainers like Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley as the city’s casino culture expanded.
Billionaire businessman Howard Hughes bought the Desert Inn in 1966 after deciding not to leave. Over the years, he acquired more than a dozen hotels, breaking the mobsters’ monopoly. Casinos funded by the Mafia were no longer in use by the 1980s; they had been cleaned up and sold to respective owners. The Mirage, built by Steve Wynn in 1989, was the first of a new generation of opulent Las Vegas hotels. New York City, Paris, and Rome all impacted the Strip’s transformation. As resorts and casinos flourished, the city’s economy was still heavily reliant on the entertainment and gambling industries. Nearly 40 million people visited Las Vegas in 2013.
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