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Las Vegas Gambling--- On a Seious Note

The gambling capital had a disproportionately large role in transmitting new styles to the rest of the country.

That being said, gambling--- as a center of changes in the nature of recreation.

Americans could experiment with other aspects of futuristic culture. Easterners may have been too tied to the central city to embrace suburban living, too attached to subways or elevated trains to accept auto mobility, or too reliant on traditional modes of production to participate in postindustrial economic activities.

Outside of working life, however, they could be exposed to new cultural trends more readily.

At home they could see the movies and television shows that Hollywood produced, and on vacations they could try out Californian styles of play.

Trips to Disneyland, and later to Disney World, became a common experience for young Americans, and gambling vacations in southern Nevada permitted adults as well to taste for themselves the futuristic ways of life taking shape in Southern California.

The desert offered a combination of pleasures that could be experienced in such an easy and single-minded fashion nowhere else in the United States.

Las Vegas operators toiled to provide a wide variety of pastimes for visitors. Each Strip hotel featured a number of bars or cocktail lounges, different restaurants and coffee shops, and at least one dinner-theater.

Golf courses, swimming pools, tennis courts, riding stables, and still more athletic facilities were laid out on hotel grounds for guests.

Resort hotels competed among themselves to attract the finest, most popular entertainers, often paying astronomical salaries even while charging minimal admission.

Moreover, they all obtained not just one major show for the dinner-theater, but also a variety of lesser acts for other lounges and auditoriums in the different resort complexes along the Los Angeles highway.

Nonetheless, the distinguishing feature of Las Vegas, the activity that set the town apart from other American resorts in substance rather than degree only, the financial centerpiece of the city, was casino gambling.

Although other attractions gained popularity among tourists, betting prevailed as the major drawing card in southern Nevada.

From both the experience of casino betting and the setting of Las Vegas Strip hotels, however, Americans derived a significance that reflected the orientations of their society in the 1940 and 1950s.

Most contemporaries tended to see Las Vegas and casino gambling not as integral strands of the general social fabric, but as loose threads on the fringe of everyday behavior.

Many tourists explained trips to southern Nevada as efforts to 'get away from it all', and scholars agreed that gambling vacations functioned as a form of escape from daily existence.

The resort city seemed to belong outside the mainstream of American civilization because gambling vacations appeared unrelated to the realities of daily life.