Iconic Casinos of Vegas

Games have for many years been much of what Las Vegas is all about and what have inspired the creation of some of the finest casinos in the world. Of the twenty five largest casinos in the world, fifteen of them are found on Las Vegas strip.

But to find the really iconic casinos of Las Vegas it is necessary to take a trip back into the past, back to the days of the early casinos that provided the first opportunities for ordinary people to legally play such games as roulette, poker and blackjack. Those first casinos were closely associated with organised crime, but the Mob was replaced eventually by legitimate management and most of the casinos were rebuilt.

The oldest casino in Las Vegas and arguably the most iconic is not located on The Strip, but downtown. It is now the Golden Gate Casino, and when it was first built it was called the hotel Nevada and opened its doors in 1906.  However it would be only three years before gambling was outlawed in the state (though much of it still went on and penalties for being caught were not too severe).

By 1919 it became legal to play casino slot machines with maximum payouts of two dollars and in 1931 most casino games were legalised and games such as poker and blackjack came back inside off the streets and the fortunes of Nevada were revived well before the challenges of the online casino era.

Another iconic downtown casino that is packed full of history is Binions, which opened in 1951. This iconic casino was owned by Benny Binion, a gambler and member of organised crime who came from Texas. It was called the Horseshoe Club and it became the place for high rolling gamblers. It was a huge success, and Benny and later his sons expanded it buying adjacent property.

Eventually the casino occupied the whole of Fremont Street. It was this casino that set the standard, and it was the first to install carpets and air conditioning, and it was from here that the World Series of Poker began.

What do you think is the most iconic casino in Las Vegas?

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