Land based casinos have a longer history than most people realize. Though the origin of this type of establishment is unknown both the Chinese and the Italian are laying claim to it.
2300 BC was the first time in history that the Chinese acknowledged the idea of gambling. Yet Italy lays claim to the world’s first known casino. In 1638 the Casino di Venezia opened in Italy and is still in business today.
Italy’s other big claim to fame when it comes to gambling is that it was the Italians that coined the word “casino.” The word is defined as a building erected for the specific purpose of pleasure. The word “casino” also has unique meanings in Spanish and German. The Italians used their casinos to hold entertainment functions with gambling, music and dancing all under one roof. The definition of the word was then expanded to mean any building that hosted activities such as sports.
Finland’s Hanko Casino was one of the few that never included gambling. It became a local, albeit conspicuous, landmark. The Hanko Casino has now been turned into a restaurant. There was also a casino called the Copenhagen, which was used as a theater as well as a place to hold large meetings for the public.
By the beginning of the 20th century the United States had enacted a law against gambling. State legislation and social reformers were responsible for this change in the law. The law was not revised until 1931; the year that gambling official became legal in the state of Nevada and specifically in Las Vegas. The reason Nevada passed a law making gambling legal was to use the casinos for the state’s economic benefit. State administrators felt that this was just what Nevada needed to grow and thrive.
Las Vegas began to develop its reputation for gambling in 1941 when the El Rancho Casino emerged. It was this year that some of Las Vegas’s most famous casinos opened; including the Tropicana, Flamingo, Riviera and Sahara casinos. The Flamingo Casino was the first in Las Vegas to begin to attract visitors from all over the world. Las Vegas suddenly became a more high culture town when the Flamingo Casino opened.
After all of the success Las Vegas had with casinos, it wasn’t until 1978 that the law allowed gambling in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Las Vegas and Atlantic City are now the top two gambling cities in the U.S.
In fact, the casinos of Las Vegas have become so powerful that other sectors were developed in the town based on the success of its casinos. Tourism in Las Vegas completely changed when casinos took over and those changes are still in effect today. Las Vegas is now known for offering a social life like no other city ever could.
Casinos have become a powerful force inside and outside of the United States. World famous casinos are now located in many different countries and have grown the tourist industry.