How Las Vegas Became a Gambling Mecca

Las Vegas was a small railroad town when Nevada officially established it in 1905. Five years after its founding, the US census recorded only 800 residents. Yet in the 1950s, it was known as a gambling tourist’s paradise, where visitors could catch a show with celebrities like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. between trips to the baccarat tables.

Although the legalization of gambling in Nevada in 1931 opened the doors to this transformation, that alone does not tell the whole story of how Las Vegas became a gambling mecca compared to its former rival. , Reno. The story also includes an influx of workers to federal projects in Nevada, a crackdown on illegal gambling in Los Angeles, and the migration of mobs to Vegas.

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