This week in our Time Travel series, we’re betting our way through the history of casinos.
Gambling has existed among civilizations for centuries, and the earliest recorded casino was established in Venice in 1638. Westward travel and the discovery of gold in the U.S. led to the widespread establishment of saloons, which acted as early gambling houses. Venues for gambling also emerged in riverboats and train cars.
The American government started cracking down on casinos in the 20th century in response to waves of fraud. Casinos retaliated by going into hiding or moving to offshore areas, namely along the Mississippi River. In 1931, the entire state of Nevada legalized gambling, and the nation’s first legal casinos emerged. As the 20th century progressed, legalization of casinos expanded, particularly within tribal boundaries. Today, casinos thrive both in the world and online, and the experience has expanded to include far more than the thrill of chance.
Flip through the gallery above to see how casinos evolved over hundreds of years.
Sarra Sedghi is Paste Travel’s News Editor.