Deemed one of the world’s greatest casino capitals, Las Vegas has a rich and unexpected history.
Unlike the lavish glitz and Hollywood glamour we see today, the Strip has roots in far darker mysteries, with ties to mobsters of days gone by and the hard work of miners.
That’s right, in 1905, when our story begins, Las Vegas was a far cry from the luxury we see today and an even further cry from the advanced technology we can now thank for giving us a chance to taste Sin City as we play casino games online, from the comfort of our own homes.
But join us as we delve deep into the origins of Las Vegas, so you can feel like a pro with your newfound knowledge of the city at the heart of casino gaming.
Read on to find out more.
A founded city
On May 15, 1905, Las Vegas was officially founded as a city when 110 acres of land were auctioned off by the railroad company.
It became an established railroad town – the perfect place to rest and refuel between Southern California and Salt Lake City.
Quick divorces and the Hoover Dam
After many years, in 1931, divorce laws were liberalized in Nevada, making it easier to become a resident. This meant that a quick divorce could be had after just six weeks of residency.
Despite staying to work in ranches and saloons, residents at the time were hit by the Great Depression. But thankfully, construction had started on the Hoover Dam, which bought an influx of construction workers who needed somewhere to rest after a long day’s work.
The economy was boosted, schools were built, and Fremont Street was seeing frequent visitors – with lights fuelled by the newly-built Hoover Dam.
The first casino
The Las Vegas Army Air Field was built in 1941, followed by the first hotel-casino resort on what would later become known as the Strip. El Rancho was a traditional Western-style casino and fit in with the rest of the pubs and saloons that could be found up and down Fremont Street.
However, in 1942 the Last Frontier opened, followed by famous mobster Bugsy Siegel’s Flamingo in 1946, which still stands today.
The mob had strong roots in Vegas at this time, borrowing money to open more casino resorts that were a world away from the original Western-themed venues. Pools, spas, and entertainment were on the rise, and the Strip would soon see plenty of famous faces flocking to get a taste of the glamour and casino action.
Taking cues from Hollywood
In 1956, Elvis Presley made his Las Vegas debut as the closing act of a show at the New Frontier hotel and casino, and, despite his career being on the rocks prior to this, he created a name for himself as the King of Rock and Roll through playing to the crowds on the Strip.
Other famous faces, such as Marilyn Monroe, made frequent appearances, helping to sculpt Sin City into the Hollywood hotspot we know today.
In 1966, Howard Hughes bought a load of hotels and businesses in Las Vegas, getting rid of mobster roots in the city once and for all.
The rest is history
From here, venues opened, taking their cues from romantic places such as Paris, ancient Egypt, and Rome, and casinos got even bigger. Entertainment grew, and millions of visitors flocked to the streets each year to experience the wonder of the bright lights and casino atmosphere for themselves.
And as they say, the rest is history.
Movies have been filmed in the famous streets, and millions of people and celebrities still travel from far and wide to experience the Las Vegas glamour.
As technology continues to advance and casinos continue to get bigger and better, will you be booking a trip anytime soon? Or will the bright animations from your favorite online casino site take your fancy?