Las Vegas is the capital of world gambling. Everybody knows that. The question is not only “how” but also “who” made it become what it is now.
The three kings
Many have had their days of glory in the state of Nevada. But Bola 88 three step out of the crowd,
as they gave the name of the game.
He is the best sports handicapper in the history of Las Vegas. He used to be called “Las Vegas King”, “Guru”, or something that he surely is: a genius. He inaugurated the first sports and race book, at Stardust Hotel & Casino. Every casino in Las Vegas copied his invention afterwards. He used to run four casinos at the same time, during the 1970’s and early 1980’s: Stardust, Fremont, Hacienda, and Marina.
Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal inspired one of the leading characters in the “Casino” book and movie (performed by Robert de Niro), though the story doesn’t speak the entire truth, he says. You can find Frank at his own web page
Partially, he has made his apprenticeship with Frank Rosenthal. Finally, he “dethroned” him. He is now chairman of Mirage Resorts, that includes the largest hotel in the world, MGM Grand. Some of his success is linked to the name of E. Parry Thomas, known as the only banker in town, at that time, who would loan money to build a casino. Rosenthal himself describes him as a “a very skilled mind”.
The two “kings” were preceded by George Wingfield, a major figure in the history of Nevada, since 1912. He used to be characterised as “the owner and operator of Nevada”. Two businesses got him the glory: mining and gambling. He moved to Nevada at the begining of the 20th century. As an active politician he struggled to get gambling and divorce legalised. Gambling was re-legalised in the state of Nevada in 1931. The same year, the famous six-weeks divorce law was approved. Ironically, nowadays, 230 marriage licenses are issued every day in Las Vegas.
The gold mine of America
After South Africa, the state of Nevada is the largest gold producer in the world. Golden Nugget Hotel displays the world’s biggest gold nugget ever found, that weights 61 pounds.
The most famous mine owner in the history of Nevada was George Wingfield. He also owned every bank in the state. Goldfield Consolidated Mines Company, that he ran together with senator (at that time) George S. Nixon, made them both multi-millionaires.
The other “gold mine” of the state of Nevada is gambling, since gaming activities were legalised in 1931. In 2003, the gross gaming revenue in Las Vegas was $7,673,489,000.
This “gold mine” closed its doors only one time in history: on November 25th 1963, for the national mourning of the assassinated president George Kennedy. History didn’t repeat itself in the first days after September 11. In fact, Americans asked in surveys on this subject saw Las Vegas as a place to escape the tension.