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The 100 Most Significant Events of the 20th Century in Casino Gambling14 April 2001
What is the leisure time activity that more adult Americans participate in than any other? Going to movies? No. Playing softball? No. Golf? No. Bowling? Come on! Tennis? Oh, my aching elbow! Stamp collecting? No. Coin collecting? You're getting colder. Quilting? Sure, that's big with the truckers. Reading great literature? Ha! Ha! Ice cold. Freezing.
Think! Over 130 million people participated in this activity last year. Adult people. People with money. Yes, Virginia, I even saw a guy in a Santa Claus suit doing it last Christmas.
From kitchen poker games to sports and horse betting, to dogs and dominoes, more people gamble than do just about anything else other than eat, sleep, work and make more people.
And the biggest draw in the world of gambling is unquestionably casino gambling. The 20th Century has seen an explosion in legal casino gambling unequaled in the history of man. Las Vegas has gone from a sleepy little desert town to a sprawling metropolis. Atlantic City has been resurrected. Tiny delta counties such as Tunica have become giant pools of money. Riverboats ply the waves up and down the Midwest. And Indian casinos are changing the concept of the word reservation from a holding area for an oppressed people to: "We'll gladly take your reservation. Will that be a suite or a deluxe room, sir?"
No question, casino gambling was all the rage as our 20th Century and the Second Millennium came to a close and it does not show any signs of slowing down as the 21st Century and Third Millennium begin.
As with any activity of mankind, the people, places, and things of 20th Century casino gambling fill many volumes. Picking the top 100 events was not an easy task. I had plenty of help from a diversity of sources, many of which I list at the end of the article. Just about every gaming writer I asked to contribute his or her ideas was more than happy to help me out with this herculean effort. Not everyone wanted to be listed as a source and I have respected their anonymity. I give each and every one who helped me compile this list, whether credited or not, a sincere thank you. I couldn't have done it without them.
I am sure that for just about every event I have included, some reader can make a good argument for why I should not have included it but, instead, have included something else in its place. That's the nature of lists.
In my opinion, every event on this list has had an impact on casino gambling in some way, either directly (the creation of Megabucks), or indirectly (Howard Hughes moves to Las Vegas and buys seven casinos), or tangentially (Hoover Dam is completed). Some of the events have helped to create and promulgate casino lore, some simply made splashy headlines. But all were big in the casino scheme of things in my estimation as they have added to the mystique of casinos or casino towns.
[ 86.] 1994: David Sklansky publishes The Theory of Poker. Many poker players feel that this is the one must-read poker book for the serious player. Covers just about every casino poker game.
[ 87.] 1994: Shuffle Master introduces its multi-deck shuffler machines. These can now be found in just about every major casino in the United States. By not having human dealers shuffle, the casino saves downtime and increases the number of hands played per hour. That translates into more money for the house.
[ 88.] 1994: The Foxwoods Resort Casino opens in Connecticut. Not only does Foxwoods become the largest hotel-casino complex owned and operated by American Indians (the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe), it becomes the largest casino-hotel complex in the world!
[ 89.] 1994: Frank Sinatra gives his final performance in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand. The era of the Rat Pack has long been finished and now its leader is too.
[ 90.] 1994: Break the One-Armed Bandits! by Frank Scoblete is published. The first book that explains from an inside source the actual slot placement philosophy of the casinos and debunks many of the popular myths surrounding the slot machines. Explains clearly for the non-experts how the modern computer-generated slots and the RNG work.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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