History of Gaming in Nevada


By 1970, tourism had become Nevada's largest industry. In 1975, gaming revenues topped $1 billion annually and nearly 50 percent of Nevada's budget was supported by gaming-based tax revenue.

With the 1970s came significant growth in hotel-casino development throughout the state. Popular casinos including MGM Grand (now Bally's), Imperial Palace, Barbary Coast and Eldorado (Reno) opened their doors.

In 1972, Harrah's Entertainment became the first gaming company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Nevada State Legislature established specific criteria for inclusion in The Black Book and lowered the sports betting tax, allowing for the proliferation of legalized Nevada-based sports books.

By the end of the decade, Nevada had become the fastest growing state in the nation and increased gaming revenues by 150 percent.

  • Nevada's total population: 493,223
  • Tourism becomes Nevada's largest industry
  • King's Castle (now Hyatt Tahoe) Hotel & Casino opens at Incline, North Lake Tahoe
  • Union Plaza Hotel & Casino opens in Downtown Las Vegas
  • Official "Black Book" criteria established
  • MGM Grand Hotel & Casino (now Bally's Las Vegas) opens on the Las Vegas Strip
  • Eldorado Hotel & Casino opens in Reno
  • Harrah's becomes the first gaming company listed on the New York Stock Exchange
  • Nevada gaming revenue tops $1 billion; gaming-related taxes pays 50 percent of state budget with 30 percent in related taxes (liquor, cigarettes, gas)
  • Nevada State Legislature lowers sports betting tax, allowing the proliferation of casino-based sports books/betting
  • Union Plaza Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas opens state's first legal casino-based sports book
  • Sundowner Hotel & Casino opens in Reno
  • California Hotel & Casino and Nevada Hotel & Casino are built in Downtown Las Vegas
  • Stardust Hotel & Casino opens legendary sports book
  • Bingo Palace opens west of the Las Vegas Strip, marking the beginnings of the Station Casinos empire
  • Fitzgerald's Hotel & Casino opens in Reno
  • Gaming revenues in Clark County top $1 billion
  • Internal Revenue Service begins to require hotel-casinos to report winnings of gamblers to federal authorities
  • Park Tahoe (now Caesars Tahoe) Hotel & Casino opens at South Shore, Lake Tahoe
  • Vegas World opens on Las Vegas Blvd.
  • Imperial Palace opens on the Las Vegas Strip
  • Barbary Coast opens on the Las Vegas Strip
  • IGT introduces first "draw poker" machine