The casino stands as the great and most visible monument to the massive scale of the Gambling Industrial Complex in America. Just look across much of the American landscape, and you will see the glaring and garish lights of the casinos that serve to attract gamblers. It was not always so.
Indeed, for all but the last decade of the twentieth century, casinos were basically non-existent, except for those found in the state of Nevada. All that changed when states began to license and draw revenue from casino gambling. As Earl L. Grinols of the University of Illinois has commented: “Most areas of America had no legal casino gambling before 1990.”