Mecca for gamblers. The Past and Present of the Gambling Capital of the World

Gambling News and Lucky Stories

Every year, Las Vegas is visited by about 40 million tourists who spend a lot of money on entertainment in Sin City. Despite the fact that the revenues of the capital of gambling are increasing from year to year, some experts believe that the golden age of Vegas is in the past. One of the founders of Big Bet Gaming, Brooke Dunn, believes that the city is too slow to adapt to the requirements of the times and loses its relevance. The new generation of entrepreneurs fails to find an approach to the audience and repeat the feat of their predecessors who made Vegas the world Mecca of entertainment.

Handsome Bugsy and the first casinos of the City of Sins The Godfather of Las Vegas is Benjamin Siegelbaum, aka Bugsy Siegel. The New York gangster, known in criminal circles as Handsome Bugsy, was the manager of a casino on the water and dreamed of a big gambling business. The state of Nevada gave Siegelbaum this opportunity in 1931. Legislators have legalized gambling in southern Nevada to crack down on illegal fights, prostitution, and underground betting companies. In 1945, Handsome Bugsy decided that the opportunity should not be missed. The gangster borrowed a large amount from mafia bosses and laid the foundation for his own casino. He named the gambling complex in honor of his mistress – the dancer Virginia Hill with the romantic nickname “Flamingo”. As conceived by the newly-minted businessman, the Flamingo establishment was to become an American Monte Carlo.
Already in 1947, the casino began to bring its owner the first profit. The success of the Flamingo made other mobsters see the potential in Las Vegas. Riviera, Fremont, Sahara, Tropicana and Sands complexes appeared in Sin City. Unfortunately, Handsome Bugsy didn’t catch the heyday of Vegas. In 1947, Siegel was killed by fellow gangsters. Formally, for wasting part of the money allocated by the mafia for the Flamingo project. The explosive success of Vegas in the 1950s Las Vegas became synonymous with crazy Gatsby-style parties in the early 50s, when the US government set up a nuclear test site near Nevada. Mushroom clouds attracted thrill-seekers. Thanks to the atomic bombs, more than 8 million guests visited Sin City in 1954.
Parties, beauty contests “Miss Atomic Energy” were held in casinos and tourist complexes, and stars were invited. In the 50s, visitors to Las Vegas witnessed the performances of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima, and in the 60s – Elvis Presley and Barbara Streisand. Howard Hughes in the history of Las Vegas In 1966, Howard Hughes, an American billionaire, moved to Sin City. The businessman occupied the 8th and 9th floors of the Desert Inn. Casino Hotel, and on April 1, 1967, he bought the establishment from gangster Mo Dalitz for $13.2 million. From 1967 to 1970, Mr. Hughes purchased 6 more casinos: Sands for 14.6 million, Frontier and Castaways for 3 million, Silver Slipper for 5.3 million, Landmark for 17.3 million and Garold Club. The owners of the establishments were famous gangsters.
The millionaire, immediately after buying the next casino, completely replaced all the staff so that the mafia could not control the work of his company. Gradually, the American billionaire cleared the gambling capital of criminals. Howard Hughes made Las Vegas respectable and attractive for big businessmen, politicians and world stars. The city received multimillion-dollar investments and began to develop rapidly. The Rise and Fall of Las Vegas in the 1970s and 80s In the early 1970s, two more businessmen became interested in Las Vegas and changed the course of history. In 1969, billionaire Kirk Kirkorian opened the International Hotel. Barbara Streisand performed at the presentation, and Elvis Presley gave 58 concerts in the institution over the course of 2 years. In 1973, Kirkorian opened a second complex – MGM, which became the largest in the world.
Steve Wynn played a significant role in the development of the Las Vegas gambling industry in the 70s and 80s. The billionaire announced himself loudly at the opening of the first Golden Nugget hotel. He won the love of the public by signing a contract with Frank Sinatra. The more recent Mirage and Bellagio projects have become a new word in architecture and offer customers an increased level of comfort in luxurious interiors. The mid-70s is considered the heyday of Sin City. Since 1978, the owners of gambling complexes in Las Vegas have been in crisis. The state of New Jersey passes a law on the legalization of poker and roulette, and some gamblers, tired of the monotony of Sin City, prefer Atlantic City to Nevada. The Age of Megahotels: Las Vegas in the 1980s and 90s Steve Wynn was one of the first to realize that gamers needed change and new experiences. The Mirage Hotel, opened in 1989, was the first attempt to attract a new audience. The windows of the institution were tinted with gold, a real tropical forest was created inside and enclosures with exotic animals were equipped. An artificial volcano was installed outside the complex, which spewed flames in the evening.
Steve Wynn’s hotel started a new era – the era of mega hotels. In 1990, the Excalibur complex, stylized as the legendary Camelot, opened in Las Vegas. In 1993, the Luxor Casino appeared – a hotel-casino in the form of Egyptian pyramids. In 1997, a smaller copy of New York grew up in the Mojave Desert – a New York gambling establishment with its own Statue of Liberty and roller coasters. Hi-tech and Las Vegas: land-based casinos in the era of high technology In 2018, the owners of casinos and hotel complexes realized that people were losing interest in Sin City. Entrepreneurs tried to turn the tide. In January, the Sapphire strip club put on a show featuring robotic women, in February a makeshift marriage registration office opened at the airport on Valentine’s Eve, and in April, dancers at the Legends Room strip club began accepting bitcoin payments using temporary tattoos. Thus, the owners of the establishments tried to follow modern trends.
Brooke Dunn believes that this is not enough. In 2018, Las Vegas lost its status as a world entertainment center. Casino owners cannot offer anything new and interesting. Tourists go for vivid impressions to Macau, the Chinese Mecca of gambling, or stay at home and go on a virtual journey through online casinos. High technology has changed the gambling industry, and many owners of recreation complexes do not keep up with innovations. Brooke Dunn is confident that young and ambitious entrepreneurs who are ready to create unique products and attract new audiences will be able to return the former glory to Las Vegas.

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