The city of Las Vegas was once a cool water stop-spot for travelers. However, when the railway company auctioned a 110-acre piece of land in the area, the city started to develop. In the same year, 1905, the city saw its first land-based casino called The Golden Gate Casino and Resort. Since then, Las Vegas has grown to be the gambling capital of the world. It attracts over 40 million visitors every year, compared to Paris, which receives 30 million tourists per year. You can tour the city for leisure, entertainment, cuisine , and nightlife.
Although other cities have emerged as major gaming destinations, Las Vegas still takes the spotlight, providing the ultimate casino experience. It’s been featured in Hollywood films, music, and entertainment outlets, making it a popular destination. Today we’ll delve into how Las Vegas grew so popular and why it’s still the gambling capital of the world.
History and Background of Las Vegas
Las Vegas, which is Spanish for the meadows, was once a marsh with vegetation and water. It had plenty of water that flowed into what is now the Colorado River. Spanish tradesmen discovered Las Vegas en-route to establishing trade routes to Los Angeles.
The valley would later become popularly known as “the best place to re-supply before going to California”. When water was piped down into Las Vegas from wells, it became a favored stop for wagon trains and railroads.
Las Vegas was officially founded in 1905 when the 100 acres of auctioned land became what is now Downtown. Railroads played a great role in the growth and development of Las Vegas. They didn’t need gaming, so they outlawed it in 1910 and continued to thrive.
In 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed a bill to build the modern-day Hoover Dam. Following this, the population of Las Vegas grew from 5,000 to 25,000, building an atmosphere for entertainment, including casinos and showgirl theatres. Nevada saw the potential revenue streams and legalized local casino gaming in 1931.
The Opening of Iconic Casinos in Las Vegas
The first casino in Las Vegas called Pair-o-Dice Club started in 1931, but the city saw a full-service casino resort in 1941. El Rancho Vegas, what is currently called The Strip, started with 63 bungalow rooms on April 3, 1941. It was a huge success, inspiring others to develop their complexities on Highway 90, including Bugsy Siegel.
By the 1950s, Las Vegas was a popular resort town mostly viewed as a gateway to nice resorts, casinos, and clubs. It started gaining popularity as the go-to place for all kinds of entertainment, casino gaming, and glamour.
Although the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino had opened earlier in 1946, most casinos started between 1952 and 1957. These include the Sands, Sahara, Showboat, New Frontier, Tropicana, Riviera, and the Royal Nevada. The huge number of casinos that opened in the 50s saw Las Vegas reach 8 million tourists per year.
In 1989, The Mirage opened, setting a new level of casino gaming experience in Las Vegas. It featured world-class chefs, tropical landscapes with active volcanos and waterfalls, and a show with illusionists. In the 90s, more than 12 similar hotels opened.
Las Vegas Casinos in the World’s Top Rating
In 2000, Las Vegas was the largest city in the century, holding a population of 552,000 people. Although other cities have emerged as major casino gaming destinations, Las Vegas still remains a popular destination for gaming tourists.
The city is home to some of the world’s most luxurious casinos such as the Venetian, Bellagio, and Caesars Palace. The Venetian is a five-diamond award-winning casino resort with over 3,036 suits in two towers. It features 3,000 slot machines and 140 gaming tables.
Bellagio features an 8-acre lake with fountains that perform choreographed shows set music, seasonal displays of plants and trees, and live entertainment. Caesars Palace, on the other hand, is one of the most iconic casinos. It features a massive gaming floor with 2,000 slot machines and 150 table games.