For the majority of its history, gambling as a pastime activity and a hobby used to be present whenever and wherever without any sort of oversight and control. Back in the 19th and 18th centuries and even before that, all the way back to ancient times when wagers would be made on all sorts of things, just about anyone could bet and gamble on anything. Things really started to change during the 20th century when governments of many countries with the US leading the efforts started implementing laws and rules on gambling, passing many bills in the process. What came after this was a whole industry, a gambling industry that has only been getting bigger and bigger to this day.
One of the main reasons why gambling grew so big in a matter of a few decades has to deal with the gambling capital of the world, the city of Las Vegas, Nevada. Everyone knows about it and what it represents, as well as what it holds. Nowhere in the world are there more huge casino resorts present closer and tighter together than on the Las Vegas Strip. They are iconic symbols of the gambling industry, sure, but they are also so much more. The most famous of them are legitimate tourist attractions, glamorous hotels that have everything a guest may need and places where most would not mind spending a night.
While they may have started as the best places to gamble on the planet, over the years they became so much more. New ones were built, old ones were torn down. However, some of the oldest still stand and you can visit them today. Many of the classics are no longer there or have been repurposed, but not all. If you are a passionate gambler or just someone who enjoys traveling and exploring, this article will surely be interesting. For more on casinos as well as online gambling, be sure to check this page.
Let us start things of from the back and talk about the 8th oldest resort currently standing. It opened its doors to the public in 1959 as only a hotel. It took almost a decade and a half, but finally in 1972 did it also became a casino and welcomed the first gamblers. The original name of this casino resort is Flamingo Capri, a much cooler, fitting name for the ‘60s and the ‘70s. The gimbling area stretches across nearly 33,000 square feet and it is located in South Las Vegas.
7. Circus Circus
A peculiar name for a casino for sure, Circus Circus is one of the rare Vegas casinos that kept its original name from the day they were opened. This resort opened on October 18, 1968, and is still going strong. It remains one of the more popular destinations for tourists from all over the world, especially because of its interesting design that resembles, well, a circus. It has a huge gaming space of nearly 124,000 square feet, certainly up there with the best of them.
6. Caesars Palace
If there is a casino synonymous with gambling that can serve as the symbol of Las Vegas, it would certainly be Caesars Palace. It has everything, a cool design, a memorable and imposing name, and the location. It opened in August of 1966 and kept its name to this day. It has the largest total gaming area on this list with more than 124,000 square feet. You cannot miss it really, just walk down South Las Vegas Boulevard until you spot the huge white building with a stunning lake with fountains in front of it.
The full name of this resort used to be Sahara Hotel and Casino, but now it is called Sahara Las Vegas. It opened in 1952 and it has stuck to its Arabian, desert theme. Gaming space stretches across 85,000 square feet where you can play whatever gambling game you like. You cannot miss its iconic dome and sign in front of the hotel.
Originally called The Fabulous Flamingo, here is a resort from the ‘40s, one that first opened in 1946. A lot has changed since those times, but this casino still stands strong and attracts numerous guests and gamblers every year. The casino part of this resort stretches across 72,000 square feet.
3. Golden Nugget
The Golden Nugget did not change its name a lot over the years. Since it opened in August of 1946, it remained one of the most iconic and popular destinations not present on the main Strip that is the South Boulevard. It can be found at 129 Fremont Street and its gaming space is not as large as some of the others on the list with 38,000 square feet, but it is still an amazing resort to visit and have fun at.
2. El Cortez
Here is another ancient casino from the early days of Vegas that still stands today. El Cortez kept its name ever since November of 1941 when it first opened. It has a gaming area of 45,000 square feet and it is located at 600 East Fremont Street. For a real piece of the beginning of the golden age of Vega gambling, there is nowhere better to go.
1. Golden Gate
The oldest casino you can visit in Las Vegas is an absolute antique and a real part of Vegas history as well as gambling history overall. Believe it or not, but Hotel Nevada, as it is its original name, opened on January 13, 1906. That is almost 120 years old at this point. Gambling was prohibited only three years later in 1909 and it had to stop with gambling. The oldest still-standing resort continued to offer its casino services again in 1931. It was also called Miller Hotel at that time. It is located at 1 Fremont Street and offers 12,000 square feet of gambling fun, by far the least on this list, but that is more than okay.
Conclusion and Takeaways
The gambling industry is a big and successful one today but its history is even bigger. A lot needed to happen before the popularity of the online solutions could take over like they did. While nowhere near as many people make their way to their local casinos as before, the biggest resorts in the world still draw in millions of guests each year. And most of them are located in Vegas, decades, soon-to-be a century old. It is truly a unique place worth a visit.