The state of Nevada has become practically synonymous with gambling in America; indeed, the gaming industry is integral to the economy of the Silver State as it is its principal source of revenue. Gambling in Nevada dates back 100 years, but it had already been a country-wide source of entertainment long before that.
When the Puritans arrived in the 1600’s, gaming and gambling of all kinds were strictly prohibited in the Massachusetts Bay colonies because of strict religious beliefs; however, there were British settlers in other colonies who enjoyed the “gentlemen’s diversions” and brought with them the tradition of classy English gaming.
Back in the Motherland, financial backers of the New World began to see legalized gambling as a way to raise funds for the needs of the colonists. Eventually, all 13 colonies established lotteries, and their proceeds helped found prestigious universities: Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, Princeton, and William and Mary. Churches and libraries were financed by lotteries too, and the great leaders of the day such as George Washington and Benjamin Franklin endorsed the benefits of the system.
Lotteries continued well into the 19th century, and by then the earliest casinos were created in the east; some of them were quite lavish, and dice and card games were de rigueur. When the population began pushing west, gambling went with it. Gaming shacks popped up along the river travel routes, and the excitement and risk involved with the games paralleled the personalities of the adventurers who took to gambling.
The California Gold Rush in the mid 19th century brought the center of legalized gambling to the West forever. San Francisco was the hub then, but when California prohibited gaming, it found a home in Virginia City, Nevada. When prohibition came to Nevada also, gambling continued to thrive but went underground. After the completion of the Hoover Dam, the increased tourism prompted Nevada to legalize gaming once and for all in 1931, and it never looked back.
Business really boomed during the prosperous post WWII era, and the cities of Reno and Las Vegas became gaming Meccas for people from all over the country. Big name entertainment soon followed, and Nevada soon became known as the state where people could play the games they love and see their favorite stars too. Today, visitors come to cities like Mesquite to enjoy all the amenities of Nevada’s big cities as well as world class golf, spa treatments, excellent hotels and food, and an overall pampered and relaxed experience.
Nevada and gaming go together like bacon and eggs. It’s a great place to play, eat, shop, golf, and enjoy a show at the end of the day.