Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 1)

Reinhold Schmitt
ISA-GUIDE Chefredakteur (V.i.S.d.P.)
E-Mail: info@isa-guide.de

(rs) Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 1) – 2004-03-22

Everything begins sometime, but this historical story of Las Vegas here has begun just very early. Already in the Middle of 19.th Century there were settlers, who have settled in this valley, where once there has even been only water and meadows. Incidentally therefore it has been called Las Vegas, from where the name stems from, i.e. simply means „the meadows“, … or the lawns.

The great meaning to this area, that the engineers of the railroad between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City have recognised, that one could let the locomotives that were run by steam craft, have refilled there with water. The actual foundation of the State of Nevada goes back in the year 1864, then was also the point in time when there have been already efforts, in order to either legalise or avert game of chance. There have always been parties on both sides, who claimed their martial law. Mormons with their assumption of a disciplined, and of a moral ideology biased lifestyle, have been of course always against any form of vice and game of chance or casinos. Approximately five years later, in 1869 there were finally the first articles of law approved that should officially legalise game of chance.

The City of Las Vegas was corresponding to historical information however about that it has been found not before the 15.th May, 1905, but it has existed already as a locality of place, without its official term.

The fact that through gambling in a little civilised society there should have also been brought about many appearing problems, has made the legislator to late become aware about it. A helpless try to forbid the game of chance then in 1909 officially, failed plaintively. After the comings and goings until the late year of 1910, there the Gambling Halls and Saloons have been lead further on, before the interdiction ban simultaneously came into force with the prohibition for gamble in the underground. The same casino owners, who were running until then a legally concession on their casino, were now the bosses of the backroom-gambling clubs. Very soon these efforts to ban the game of chance turned out to be a senseless try. Already 1911 the first slackens came into force. Hence already officially legalised games were accepted, from which the guest had to shuffle the cards alternately, or where the house must not have had any commission stipulated on the gamble’s stake. In each saloon has been given a fast go-getter in Poker. Nevada had the reputation at that time, like here activities were allowed, that at other places throughout the USA those were either illegal or unmoral. Express-divorces or Flash-weddings further to Box matches for money etc. – everything was here possible.
With a more relaxed Gambling prohibition in 1911 the great age of poker gambler and other fortune’s knights had began. The next immigrations wave to Las Vegas begun. 1915, within the next legislation’s period there have been a further loosening in Casino interdictions. Furthermore “party games”, and slot-machines and Nickel-stake were now allowed. The first winnings at the slot-machines however had to be paid or handed over in the form of natural product prices (drinks, cigarettes, etc.). With this important alteration of the legal foundation there had been set up one of the most significant foundation-stone for its Nevada’s Gambling future.

In context of the worldwide depression there has been announced a huge demand in acting for fulfilling needs. In order to come to grip with financial problems, there was in 1931 a so called Assembly Bill introduced by Assemblyman Phil Tobin. Within it there has been the main matter about legalising the game of chance again fully and to establish the legal frame conditions. Since then the following games were no longer forbidden: Faro, Roulette, 21, Black Jack, Craps, Klondike, Stud Poker, and many others – of course also slot-machines in any possible version.

For interest it ought to be mentioned, that at the instigation of the Gambling locality owners a tax duty had to be paid, that were not based on the turnover or the profit, but on the amount of games, tables and slot-machines. Card game tables cost 25 Dollars a month, other table games as Roulette (with a brake-pedal-magnet for the ball or without any) cost 50 Dollars a month and for each slot-machine it had to be paid 10 Dollars a month. 75 of the income sing got over to the council’s district, in which the casino was been operating, the rest of 25 has got over to the hand of the State.

Certainly also this original version of laws failed, as there was a lack of appropriate control measurements. Corruption, embezzlements, tax evasion etc. was the most normal matter on earth. The Wild West shouldn’t be even to fully liven up. Only many years later, after also the Organised Crime (Mafia) would have stopped their Casino Operations in Las Vegas and huge finance societies should take over the Casino Business, Las Vegas should alter grossly: from a former fortune’s knights’- and settlers-location towards a new Disneyland-alike place of journey destinations for families or for High-roller Gamblers with their fat valets, who were flown in by Lear-jets owned by the Casinos, for who a luxury-suite is reserved and the limousine driver stands available at the airport. In Las Vegas there is anything else that does not exist elsewhere in the world. But in between, from 1920 until 1989 and today there have been still many things that happened in Las Vegas. We are going to continue the report in the next parts.

See also:
New reports: Gambling in Las Vegas
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 2)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 3)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 4)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 5)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 6)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 7)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 8)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 9)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 10)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 11)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 12)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 13)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 14 – End)

Walk through Las Vegas