The beginnings of gambling are unknown, although the Chinese are often credited with the first known account. The act of gambling predates the building of formal casinos by many centuries. The word casino is Italian in origin and actually means bordello, while casino’ with an accent on the last syllable means gambling house. The first modern casino was built in Venice, Italy in the early 17th century. In early American history, gambling was conducted in saloons in such frontier towns as New Orleans and San Francisco, as well as river boats on the Mississippi River.
As popularity of gambling increased, casinos began cropping up in all major metropolitan cities and continued to flourish in the western frontier. By the end of the 19th century there were thousands of casinos in New York City alone. But with the popularity of gambling houses came cheaters, hustlers, and thieves trying to cash in on the money changing hands. When the prohibitionists became vocal in the early 20th century, alcohol was not their only target. Within a couple of decades, casinos became illegal almost every where in the country, and when the western frontier states were added to the Union, they had to give up gambling as well.
Gambling continued to be illegal until the early thirties, when Nevada legalized gambling as a way to recover from the Great Depression. Reno was the gambling Mecca until Las Vegas became the new frontier town due to construction of Hoover Dam. From that point forward, Las Vegas has continued to grow and prosper, maintaining itself as the premier gambling destination in the world. Atlantic City opening for gambling in the mid seventies did little to slow down the popular Nevada destination.
Eventually government regulations and gaming oversight has brought legitimacy and integrity to this once outlawed industry. Sbobet casino that were once owned by Cagayan are now traded on the stock exchange. And with that respectability and a new reputation comes an industry on the brink of growth unseen to date. Predictions show growth in Las Vegas to double that of other metropolitan cities.
According to the American Gaming Association, total gaming revenue in the United States has almost doubled in the last ten years bringing in close to 100 billion dollars annually. And if you think this is simply non-productive money being flushed down a hole, these same casinos paid more than twelve billion in wages and another five billion in taxes. Much of this money is being spent on Indian reservations, bringing wealth and prosperity to areas once crippled by prosperity.