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Las Vegas – The Home of Mobile Casinos 

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A recent @DIMOCO white paper UNRAVELLING MOBILE CARRIER BILLING FOR iGAMING suggested that gambling operators could be leaving up to 70% of potential revenues on the table. It argued that most gambling operators have invested heavily in mobile platforms that recreate the Las Vegas “experience” – without fully capitalising on the true potential of the mobile ecosystem in which their customers exist.

Demand from new mobile gamblers has surged with Covid19 lockdowns but in many cases conversion rates and cashier deposits have been disappointing. So, with around 5.7 billion smartphone users globally (around ten times that of credit card), it looks likely that the gambling industry is missing out on some huge potential revenues – buy not offering a mobile payment option.

Maybe it’s time for mobile gambling to consider its roots and remember the incredible history of the city that represents the beating heart of gambling. Las Vegas made a name for itself as the epicentre of the best in gaming tables and slot machines. Often referred to as Sin City, you’ll even find that a lot of online video Slots and live casino games will take inspiration from the bright lights of the Vegas strip, trying to bring a sense of that gaming magic into your own home.

But how did Las Vegas gain this reputation? Read on to find out more about the history of casino gaming in Vegas, and how it’s developed to the phenomenon that we know and love today.

The Beginning

In 1905, railway tracks had begun to be laid between Las Vegas and the Pacific coastline, with the idea of creating an easier way to travel to other major cities such as Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. This project took a long time and involved a lot of hard work, so the workers involved needed a way to unwind after a long day’s work – and understandably so! The activity of choice was small card games to provide entertainment after hours and help them to let off a bit of steam.

Fast forward to 1910, and what started as just after work entertainment soon began to contribute to Las Vegas’ transformation into a small-time crime hub. The state authorities were quick to crack down on this vigilante behaviour, outlawing all forms of gambling in an attempt to get their crime rates under control.

However, casino fans still found a way to get their fix. The popular pastime went underground, with players setting up gaming tables wherever they could. From the basements of restaurant kitchens, to the back room of local bars, you were likely to find a game or two of Blackjack or Poker being played long into the night.

Legalised and Expanding

By 1931, gambling had been legalised once again, which led to legitimate casinos opening up across Las Vegas. They started off small – unsure of whether the idea would be a success – and were nothing compared to the dazzling establishments that we’re used to seeing today.

As brick-and-mortar casinos continued to rise in popularity, the buildings themselves became increasingly grand and, arguably, multi-purpose. Ten years after the legalisation of gambling, and extravagant resort-style casinos had begun to pop-up all around the city, starting with the El Rancho Vegas resort. This resort came forward as something completely new for the casino business, providing visitors with more than just a wide selection of top-class gaming tables, but also swimming pools and horse-riding facilities. Because of this, El Rancho Vegas gave visitors and players a well-rounded experience, with the opportunity for fun alongside relaxation.

Making it Mega

After years of Vegas being ruled by mobsters, the city was finally free once again. And, to celebrate, in 1989, the first ever mega resort was introduced to the strip called the Mirage Hotel and Casino, opened by Steve Wynn. This signposted a new age for casino resorts, where they began to take inspiration from architectural designs from the canals in Venice and the marble statues and murals from ancient Rome. Utilising this historical artwork gave these grand casinos a new sense of sophistication, bringing in larger crowds and helping to generate even more of a buzz around the Vegas gambling scene, much like what we know today.

Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly.
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