Even if you do not gamble, you’re more than likely aware of the gambling and entertainment culture in Nevada. From classic movies, to current television shows, cities like Las Vegas are shown quite frequently. Ever since the Great Depression, Nevada has had legal gambling available in the form of casinos and more recently sports books. Today Nevada is arguably the most popular gambling destination in the world. It is even considered the gambling mecca of the world by many.
With several cities to visit offering casino resorts, Nevada is the most visited state for gambling in the U.S. Many tourists and gambling enthusiasts fly to Las Vegas every year, while other towns like Reno are popular to nearby residents. Reno is located just about 4 hours east of the San Francisco Bay Area, and close to the popular vacation spot; Lake Tahoe. Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport is even one of the busiest in the country. Select a city below to find casinos or read on to learn more about gambling here.
Unlike many other states in the U.S. which place heavy restrictions on their casinos, there are very little restrictions in Nevada. This means almost all gaming properties are full-fledge resort casinos. These types of casinos spread slots, electronic machines, table games, off-track betting, keno and basically any other game you can think of. In addition to this, many casinos in Nevada include a full resort and hotel with lavish amenities. This has helped make Las Vegas in particular, sort of a vacation hotspot where people from all over the world go to blow off steam and have fun.
Almost all casinos; especially those in Reno and Vegas, are now owned by large corporations. This is different from many other states which have Native American casinos. The two biggest corporations which are in charge of a majority of casinos in Nevada are Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts, Intl.
All in all, there are over 100 casinos spread across Las Vegas alone and dozens more in other towns throughout the state. The two most popular destinations in Nevada for gambling are the Strip and Old Vegas in the Las Vegas area and downtown Reno. People fly to McCarran International Airport each year to enjoy what cities like Las Vegas have to offer. In fact, it is estimated that roughly 30-40 million people visit Las Vegas each year.
Nevada is one of only four states that allows legal sports betting. This makes its sports books some of the most popular within the United States. Many of the casinos here have sports books on-site, while there are still many stand-alone properties. They offer most all types of bets from parlays and moneyline to prop bets.
While Nevada (Las Vegas in particular) is a tourist behemoth today, many people are unaware of how that came to be. Three of the biggest attributing factors to Las Vegas becoming what it is today are the construction of the Hoover Dam, Vegas’s relaxed enforcement of liquor laws during prohibition and the stock market crash in 1929, resulting in the great depression. These would all come together to create a “perfect storm” for the Las Vegas gambling culture we know today.
After Assembly Bill 98 was approved in 1931, it began to pave the way for entrepreneurs and mobsters alike to transform the area. The state, which was hurting during the Great Depression, enacted the bill to help raise much needed revenue for Nevada. At first the idea of having a gambling mecca in the middle of the desert did not catch on. The idea didn’t really take off until shortly after 1945 when World War II came to an end. With much of the U.S. population no longer focused on the war efforts, more attention could be placed on illegal gambling. Many states including Chicago and New York began to come down hard on illegal gambling operations. This began to attract many more entrepreneurs and crime figures to Vegas where gambling was completely legal.
Las Vegas started making strides in the 1950’s, when several large investors began putting money into the city’s hotels and casinos. Many of the investments during the early days came from notable American crime figures. This is why prohibition may arguably be the single biggest contributing factor in the development of Las Vegas. Without it we would likely not have seen many of the shady investments put into early Las Vegas casinos by famous mobsters. It wasn’t until the 1960’s and 1970’s when more legitimate entrepreneurs and businessmen began to buy back casinos from mobsters. Today, Las Vegas has become somewhat of a corporate monster, owned by some of the biggest, legal names in gambling like Caesars, MGM and Boyd Gaming.
In Nevada the age to enter a casino and gamble is 21 years old. This includes slots, table games, sports books and all other casino games. The age to consume alcohol is also 21, and at most casinos drinks are usually comped.