Las Vegas – A place with more clay poker chips in it than many small nations. It is an internationally renowned resort city, the most populous in Nevada, and the largest of any American town founded in the 20th century.
Dubbed Sin City due to its tolerance for various forms of adult entertainment, Las Vegas was initially named by Spaniards in the Antonio Armijo party. Apparently, back then the Las Vegas Valley contained wells, extensive green areas, and meadows. The Spanish word for meadow is “vegas,” hence the name.
In the early 1900s, Las Vegas became a popular stopover for pioneers traveling towards the West Coast, as well as the staging point for miners in the area. The use of the railway systems slowed Las Vegas’ development for a bit, however, the building of the Hoover Dam in 1935 attracted a good amount of tourism.
It was in 1931 that the state of Nevada legalized gambling, as poker supplies became a symbol of the city. Gambling legalization led to the casino-hotel, an establishment Las Vegas is famous for. Thanks in large part to organized crime, major development began in the city, as most of the large casinos were managed or funded by mobsters.
In the 1960s, Howard Hughes and other legitimate corporations began purchasing casino-hotels, bringing a wave of legitimacy to Sin City.
The city of Las Vegas does not have a major sports team, despite being larger than a good chunk of cities that do. Though they have hosted events such as The NBA All-Star Game, concerns over legal sports betting has prevented most Leagues from setting up a franchise in the area.
However, the city is the host of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), a world-renowned plethora of different poker tournaments. The tournament has slowly grown since its star at the Horseshoe Casino in 1970, peaking in 2006 with nearly 9,000 participants.
The most identifiable symbol of Las Vegas… besides clay poker chips… is the Las Vegas Strip. Just over four miles long, “The Strip” is the location for the majority of the city’s largest hotel, casino, and resort properties. It reaches from Russell Road, where The Four Seasons Hotel & Casino is located, all the way down to Sahara Avenue, where The Stratosphere is located. It features some of the more famous casino-hotels, such as The Flamingo, The Riviera, Caesars Palace, Circus Circus, The Mirage, Excalibur, Treasure Island, Mandalay Bay, and the city’s largest casino, The MGM Grand.