Because I live in Las Vegas, I get a lot of email and calls asking about restaurants, casinos, and gambling in general. So rather than answer them all individually, I am going to address the main concern that is going around regarding poker rooms here in town.It is more than a mere rumor…7-card stud is dying in Las Vegas. There are two dominating reasons for this. The first, and the most obvious, is the international rage over the televised hold ‘em tournaments, that promise to make millionaires out of every young person over the age of twenty-one. Apparently, when given the choice of a college degree and a grinding 40 hour or more work week, and the glamor of playing poker, becoming famous, and winning a million or more, hold ‘em wins.The other reason is simply that the corporation run casinos make more money for the house by closing out stud and running hold ‘em, which involves higher bets and more hands dealt per hour. You see, while the average person is losing his job, his insurance, and his home in this uneasy economy, the casinos were beginning to show a drop in their profits…so they cut out the cheaper games that people could still afford to play once in a while, and made room for more hold ‘em to bring in the profits!Not all houses have been that uncaring. There are a few that still offer stud to the loyal players that made Las Vegas the mecca it became. While large hotels like the Mirage, the Venetian, and the Bellagio have closed their doors and their hearts to stud players, a couple others have stepped forward.Harrah’s offers 1-5 stud with no ante, and 1-5 hi-lo split as well…but check with them before you go over there and see if they have an interest list going. Sam’s Town has a game that lasts only for a couple hours in the afternoon. High stakes stud is offered at the Bellagio.So there it is. To all of you hopeful stud players, I wish you luck and good games.
Once just a gentleman’s game, U.S. gambling began its rise to the center of attention around 400 years ago. A time where gambling was the root of all evil, yet it could still help the colonies from financial issues. Deliberation over the subject went on for years and still is today, but gambling never stopped to wait for an answer. While challenges were being discussed, different forms of gambling were being created to stave off bankruptcy and other money problems.The first company to hold a gambling lottery was a bank in Jamestown, Virginia, which’ of course’ was an instant success. It wasn’t like the state lotteries you see today, but still was beneficial for a short period of time. After awhile, England felt as though they weren’t making a profit from this form of gambling, so they ended up banning it from everyone. However, that wouldn’t last long as all thirteen colonies eventually were allowed to hold their own without question.Four centuries removed, you can drive along the eastern states and see prestigious universities like Harvard, Princeton, and Yale that were all started by revenue created by state lotteries. As several other venues were being built thanks in part to U.S. gambling, greed started to as people in the colonies wanted freedom and independence from England. While this was over several issues, lotteries were one of the bigger issues never mentioned in history books.Obviously the most prestigious form of gambling at the time, state lotteries weren’t the only U.S. gambling going on around the country. By this time, horse races had already been around since 1665, but most bets were between owners only and not of a spectator kind. Also making its mark on cities throughout the colonies in the 1800s were casino style gambling with cards and dice. As areas grew, so did the size of gambling halls and local watering holes where games could be played.Then came the Mississippi River and everything it had to offer with barter and trading through several owners. Business this way was quicker, and several well known individuals met on riverboats to play some casino style gambling. This was the true introduction of the professional gambler. Winning enough money in small towns to play on the riverboats with the big boys was a common tale. After awhile, many were thought to be cheaters and many would perish at the hands of people who lost money to them.Just as the state lotteries were part of the reason for the American Revolution War, it was the Civil War that ended the time of professional gambling in the 1860s. While not the main reason, it created a business stand still, which led to no traffic up and down the great Mississippi. For the next sixty years, gambling would be loved by many and hated by that many more. States that had good fortune would create gambling booms like in California and Nevada,As years moved ahead, people like Al Capone and his mob used gambling money to front their businesses, while at the same time sports were becoming one of the major things to bet on during this period. Fast forwarding to the seventies, lotteries held around the country were making over a billion dollars on a annual basis. Gambling in the United States was considered a normal part of living and still is today.Now we’re in the 21st century and the gambling business is booming with billions upon billions of dollars being made annually. The Super Bowl is the most anticipated gambling event each year, and land based casinos are popping up all over the country. Still, many Americans protest gambling due to family members who have ongoing problems with controlling their addictions. However, the future looks bright and the government will have a hard time trying to give up all the tax revenue that is made off of gambling alone.Which brings us to the future, and online casino gambling. While the United States was one of the leaders in gambling online, President Bush tried to ban them from using debit cards that are bank issued to try to control the outbreak. It didn’t take long for U.S. players to realize that adding money to different accounts like Netteller or Moneybookers, then transferring it over may take a little longer, but the end result is the same.There will never be a solution to gambling no matter if it’s online or offline, and others will always protest the morals and what it all stands for overall. A cat and mouse game that will never be solved, and while everyone continues to argue back and forth, the sport of gambling will only become bigger. Hurry, someone go check the odds on that, you might want to bet on it.