Why Las Vegas is Always Ahead of the Game

[Guest Post]

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The state of Nevada itself has been home to many ‘firsts’ as far as the United States is concerned. Some of these events are quite impressive and something to be proud of, others simply quirky, and some perhaps best forgotten.

For instance, the first pair of blue jeans was created in Nevada by Levi Strauss. The first real discovery of silver was also in there, hence the name The Silver State. You may not know that the first, and thankfully, only motel completely themed with clowns in mind is also in Nevada.

When it comes to the good, the local people can be proud that Nevada was the first state to ratify the 15th amendment giving equal voting rights to African-Americans. They can be less proud of being the site of America’s first train robbery though.

Las Vegas also has a history of being ahead of the game in many ways. The Imperial Hotel in Vegas was the first place to have a check-in service for baggage outside of an airport.

Vegas continues to innovate and look for ways to be in front of other cities. Below you can see how they have done this over the years, and are continuing to do so. 

The Fight Capital of the World?

While Nevada as you have read is famous for being number one in many areas, Las Vegas took a little time to catch up on other regions as far as the fight game was concerned.

Madison Square Garden was and still is a hugely famous location linked inextricably to boxing. However, Las Vegas wrestled control of the boxing world from the rest of America in the last century.

It took until 1965 for Las Vegas to host its first heavyweight title fight, but the city has never looked back since. In 1965, the famous bout between Muhammad Ali and Floyd Patterson took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Since then some of the biggest fights ever have been in Las Vegas. Names such as Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, and Lennox Lewis, have fought there in modern times, while past legends haunt the arenas.

Not to be left behind with modern times, the MGM Grand Garden Arena and the T-Mobile Arena, have both hosted MMA events. While the nickname, the Boxing Capital of the World holds true, it may be more accurate in the future to change this. Perhaps switching the word Boxing to Fight would be better as Vegas pushes ahead with being the premier MMA host. 

Medical and Recreational Marijuana

While Nevada cannot quite boast of being the first state to decriminalize marijuana, they were certainly one of the game-changers.

California was the first state to legalize marijuana for medical uses, but Nevada was only two years behind when they first went to the ballots. In 1998 the Nevada Medical Marijuana Act was passed, and two years later it passed a second time with an even higher percentage.

Therefore, Las Vegas was one of the early adopters of medical marijuana. In 2016, the state and the city voted to allow cannabis to be decriminalized for recreational uses. In July 2017 the first legal sales of marijuana took place and now there are dispensaries in Las Vegas selling flowers, edibles, and concentrates.

This change of laws means that individuals can not only buy weed legally but they can receive proper information on the products they seek. For instance, if someone wanted to know more about shatter they could just visit a dispensary and ask. 

Cannabis Consumption Lounges

Staying on the subject of cannabis, Las Vegas is storming ahead with another innovative way to provide entertainment for customers:  cannabis consumption lounges.

Despite the loosening of laws surrounding cannabis across the states, it is still illegal to consume it in any shape or form in public. Not even cannabis edibles can be consumed in public.

One place in Las Vegas has managed to avoid this law as it is on sovereign land. The Las Vegas Paiute Tribe operates the NuWu Cannabis Marketplace, and consumers can partake in any cannabis product they like on the premises.

Now though, Las Vegas is jumping ahead with more options and allowing dispensaries to have their places for customers to consume products on-site. It will be interesting to see if the rest of the USA and Canada will follow suit and dispensaries such as Canna Cabana will be able to open their own cannabis lounges. 

Casino Resorts and Sports Tie-Ins

Not so long ago, there was a big rumor flying around the internet that soccer team Real Madrid was going to open a casino within their stadium.

This news was met with confusion and some concern by various parties. Gambling tie-ins with football clubs have come under scrutiny in the UK and across Europe, and Spain has outlawed them. As it turned out, it was just a rumor and Real Madrid has denied all knowledge of it ever being a real plan. So it must be fake, right?

Well, Las Vegas doesn’t have the same feelings as the Spanish, and of course, being home to many casinos, perhaps it was only a matter of time before a football club got involved.

The Las Vegas Raiders have linked up with MGM Resorts to have them as their official gaming partner, whatever that means. The big question has been whether there will be full-on betting lounges and access to mobile gambling in Allegiant Stadium too. 

Las Vegas loves Esports

The city has never been a place that stands still. Whether it is the non-stop neon, the 24/7 atmosphere of the place, or the constant innovations, Las Vegas is always looking ahead.

Bugsy Siegel had a vision when he got involved in building the Flamingo casino. He never lived to see what became of the strip, but he would surely have been impressed by the mega-resorts that have sprung up since.

Now the city has set its eyes on another growing entertainment area, esports. The fascination with video games has possibly never been bigger, with Esport tournaments having prize pools worth millions. Or in the case of Dota 2 The International, over $40 million, a world record.

The Luxor Hotel and Casino certainly saw the potential in esports when they built the HyperX Arena in early 2018. It has since hosted hundreds of events and was used earlier this year to stream basketball games for their March Mania watch parties

Where Next for Las Vegas?

Who knows where Las Vegas will go next but the city and state have a unique history of doing things that other places may not consider. From 1932 to 1967 the state prison ran a casino inside its walls. The casino was unlicensed and tolerated for 35 years before being closed.

And of course, the first casino in the states began in Las Vegas too. The Golden Gate Casino opened back in 1906. Now the city is looking at modern gaming and cannabis lounges as it stays ahead of the game. 


Las Vegas can appear as a strange place to outsiders sometimes. A city-based in a desert, linked in the past to mobsters, movie stars, famous boxers, and now video gamers. As the state and the city continue to either be ahead of their neighbors or at least equal, you can surely expect some more interesting changes to come.

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