It was on this day in 1931 that Nevada governor Fred B. Balzar signed the bill that legalized Casino gambling. The new law made path for a multibillion-dollar thriving gaming industry, also one of the biggest contributors to Nevada’s economy today.
Gambling or so-called “games of chance” had been a part of the social culture of Nevada. However, things changed when in 1860, President Lincoln appointed James Nye as Nevada Governor. He was not in favor of gambling and stood firm against Casinos and gambling activities so much so that he was literally campaigning to get gambling banned in the region.
In 1861, provincial legislation strict against gambling was enacted; however, soon Nevada became a state in 1864. After that, an effort was made to bring in a bill to legalize gambling but failed. However, on the positive side, the existing laws were relaxed, and the charges and fines for being involved in gambling activities were drastically relaxed.
The next significant change in the legislation came in 1869 when some forms of gambling were decriminalized. However, that was to last only until 1909 when all gambling activities were once again banned in Nevada. It all had to start all over for “gambling” in Nevada, and with some progress in the coming years, the anti-gambling laws were relaxed. Card games were allowed in licensed rooms where players got to try their luck at bridge and whist.
The most revolutionary change in the history of Casino Gambling came after the Great Depression that hit the country in 1928. There was somehow a consensus on relaxing laws for gambling activities. Phil Tobin, a Nevada lawmaker, introduced Assembly bill 98 that had provisions for making gambling legal and regulating it.
It was on March 19, 1931, Assembly Bill 98 introduced by Phil Tobin was signed by Governor Fred Balzar to become a new law. This legalized several “games of chance” which were criminalized until then. This legislation can be called as the Magna Carta of the modern gaming establishment in the US as it was only after the 1931 law that Casinos came into existence legally for the public.