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Modern Casino History

After the 1970s

Seeing the kind of money that could be made by legalized gambling, the residents of New Jersey approved casino gaming for Atlantic City as a tool to revitalize the flagging resort community. Since then, the late 1970s, casino gaming has had a rocky performance record in that city. What Las Vegas in the early 70s and Atlantic City in the late 70s proved was that casino gaming at casino resorts could be a very profitable business venture. Excluding cruise ships that operate in international waters, gambling revenues in 2005 exceeded $85 billion.

The difference between the kinds of gambling establishments that have always existed in human societies and the casino resorts is that while gambling has always been a form of entertainment, the idea of building an entire resort around it is relatively new. A visitor to a modern casino resort does not have to leave the resort for any reason if he or she doesn't want to.

At each level, the resorts started adding more and more services and features, which added dramatically to the workforce. Where the original casinos in Las Vegas offered the amenities of a gambling hall, an auditorium and a hotel, the new ones offer everything from full spas to golf courses to mall shopping.

In the late 1980s, the Supreme Court decided that Native American tribal reservations were entitled to operate casinos based on their designation as sovereign. Since then, 28 states have acquired Native American-run casino resorts of one kind of another. Some of these are small bingo halls, others are sprawling giants. The Foxwoods Resort Casino is run by the Mashantucket Pequots tribe and is the largest land-based casino in the world.

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