An Excuse to Drink – March 19, 1931: 80th Anniversary of Nevada Legalizing Gambling

photo by Thomas Hawk via

Today in 1931, the legislators of the state of Nevada legalized gambling. Their motives were varied: the collapse of the silver trade after the Comstock load ran dry, and the fact that most businesses had been exempted from taxes made it plainly apparent that a new revenue stream for the vast but sparsely populated territory was needed. The gambling law capitalized on the tourist trade brought out by the relaxed (six-week!) divorce law and the newly opened Hoover Dam…and the entertainment industry was never the same. Officially, The first gaming license was issued to Mayme Stocker, owner of the Northern Club (Formerly Las Vegas Coffee House, now La Bayou) on Fremont Street in what is known today as downtown Las Vegas. The Vegas Strip wouldn’t follow until almost a decade later.

To mark the anniversary of “Everything Staying in Vegas”, here’s an appropriate cocktail:

The Casino Cocktail

recipe adapted from The New Diners Club Drink Book

  • 2 oz Dry Gin
  • 1/4 tsp Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters

Glass: Cocktail
Garnish: Maraschino Cherry

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish.

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