The word casino has its origin from the Italian word “casa” meaning a house or villa of pleasure. In American history, casinos were better known as “saloon”.These saloons were social establishments where different activities like dancing, music and gambling were permitted for entertaining guests. Four major cities, namely New Oregon, St Louis, Chicago and San Francisco, played a key role in the development of these saloons. During the early 20th century, gambling was banned by passing legislation. As a result, either the once legal establishments were shut down or they started operating underground. However, in 1931, in order to combat the economic effects of the Great Depression gambling was legalized in the state of Nevada and Las Vegas, resulting in the formation of casinos in America. During 1940’s men like Benjamin Bugsy Siegel, Benny Binion took the growth of casinos in Las Vegas to a completely new level. Gambling was still prohibited in the rest of America. In 1950’s and 1960’s new type of casinos started to flourish, The Strip. High-powered entertainment clubs and resorts like Tropicana, Stardust, Caesars palace, Sahara etc came into being. People started finding new ways to add glamour and fame to the already popular and busy casinos business. By 1970’s casinos became the highest income-generating machine for the state of Las Vegas and Nevada.
In 1976, gambling was legalized in New Jersey leading to the establishment of Resort International casino in 1978.This was done to revive the economy of cities along the Atlantic shores. However, due to strictly regulated gambling laws and due to close proximity to cities like Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia the casino in Atlantic City did not attract as much revenue as anticipated. Even though Atlantic City failed to become the Las Vegas of the East initially but with innovative ideas and new technologies it has gained momentum and is now considered the second largest popular casino in the USA.
The economic boom associated with the gambling business bought about respectability and expansion opportunity in the market. People started operating casino business on corporate values rather than targeting profitability alone. Currently 46 states have legalized one form of casino gambling or the other. Another form of casino gambling has emerged in tribal reservation areas and is commonly called Indian Gaming, has become very popular lately due to the sporadic growth of small casino gaming parlors in these regions where it was needed the most. Seeing the revenue generating potential of these casinos, big corporations have started collaborating with the native Indian owners to take the casino game to new heights.