The Golden Age of Land-Based Casinos
Many people believe the 1960s were the decade that really
personified the golden age of land-based casinos, particularly in Las Vegas.
Vegas is considered by many in the industry to be the
world capital of gambling, and it's hard to argue with that. When looking at
which decade really exemplifies the golden age of land-based casinos, Las Vegas
is really the center of it all, and for that reason, we have to go with the
1960s. There's a bit of history that leads up to this decade and why it became
an iconic time for the industry as a whole.
Leading Up to the 1960s
In the 1940s and 1950s, Las Vegas saw a number of major
expansions in the form of new casinos and hotels. The Strip was the center of
things at this point for most people, and iconic names like the Dunes, the
Thunderbird Hotel, the Desert Inn, and the Golden Nugget were around. The city
had grown so much during the 1940s and 1950s that the population of Las Vegas
has broken the 64,000 mark, making it a little more than 22 percent of the
total population of the state of Nevada. This is impressive because the city
only covers around 25 square miles total, which is less than 0.02 percent of
its total land area.
What Made the 1960s So Special?
Decades of work went into making the 1960s particularly
special. You could see the Rat Pack performing at the Sans, Circus Circus
opened their doors for the first time, and the World Series of Poker began at
the end of this decade. What happened during the 1940s and 1950s was the city
started getting bigger and bigger, almost as if it was waiting for a big boom.
That boom happened in the 1960s, and this came in the form of almost completely
unbridled growth that happened very quickly.
As a national tourist attraction, Las Vegas was really
accepted in the 1960s as being more than a simple gambling town. Instead, it
started becoming known more for its entertainment and source of spectacle. The
casino and hotel owners figured out that entertainment was the real key to
getting people to come from all over, and once they hit their stride, more and
more hotels had to be built just to keep up with the demand. In fact, four
different hotels were built in 1965 alone on the Strip.
Will We Ever Return to Such Heights?
There's no denying the Las Vegas is bigger now than it was
then, but it's hard to call it a Golden Age in today's environment. It's been
around long enough that few people get as excited about it as they did then,
and there are tons of other gambling destinations all across the country and
all across the world that come closer to competing. Overall, it's doubtful that
land-based gambling will ever see another Golden Age quite like that because of
everything that went into it, but that won't keep people from enjoying
themselves with all of the entertainment and gambling that the city has to