Most people looking to enjoy a hard-earned vacation envision themselves sipping an ice-cold drink in the shade of a leafy palm tree on a secluded beach. Those who love playing online casino games? They’re likely to see themselves living their best lives at a lavish casino resort!
Casino tourism (where tourists visit a specific destination with gambling intended as the main feature on their vacation itinerary) has been exceptionally popular for many decades, with casino resorts all around the globe drawing in millions of travelers every year. But has the advancement in technology and the convenience of online gaming impacted the popularity of casino resorts? Read on to find out.
A brief history of casino resorts
The first hotel resort was named El Rancho Vegas and was opened in 1941 following the legalization of gambling in the US. It was pioneered by Thomas Hull and built on the now infamous Las Vegas Strip. The El Rancho Vegas certainly welcomed its fair share of tourists. Still, casino tourism didn’t really take off until 1946, when notorious Vegas gangster Bugsy Siegel opened his resort, The Flamingo. From that point onwards, more resorts (funded by the mob) started popping up across Las Vegas. They’ve only grown larger and more luxurious over time.
Kirk Kerkorian was the man who founded the MGM Grand Hotel in 1966. It made waves at the time and spearheaded the MGM empire’s growth in the following decades. By the 1990s, the larger resorts dominated this US gambling mecca, and casino tourism finally reached its peak.
MGM Resorts International has played a massive role in kick-starting and keeping casino tourism alive. Did you know the MGM portfolio comprises 29 unique hotel and destination-gaming offerings in the US and Macau? These include some of the most recognizable resort brands in the industry, such as Bellagio, MGM Grand, ARIA and Park MGM.