1900: The total prohibition on gambling in Canada begins its century of unraveling as small raffles are permitted in an amendment to the Criminal Code.
1902: Belgium law decrees all casinos illegal, commencing a century of paradoxes that sees tolerated, regulated, and taxed casinos, albeit illegal ones.
1906: Kentucky becomes the first state to establish a government-run state racing commission. At the same time, other states begin to ban horse racing.
1907: The Arizona and New Mexico territorial governments outlaw all gambling as part of their quest for statehood.
French law permits casinos with player-banked and skill games. Casinos must be at least 100 kilometers away from Paris.
1910: The era of antigambling reform seems nearly complete in the United States. Nevada closes its casinos, and legalized gambling in the United States, with the exception of a few horse racetracks, is dormant.
In Canada the Criminal Code is again amended, this time to allow betting at racing tracks.
1915: Horse racing begins in Cuba.
1916: Horse race betting is permitted in Puerto Rico.
1919: Italy closes casinos, only to begin a process of selective licensing in 1927.
The Black Sox scandal hits professional baseball. Gamblers, including Arnold Rothstein, bribe Chicago White Sox players, who purposely lose the World Series.
Casino gambling begins along with jai alai in Marianao, Cuba.
1920s: Dog racing is popularized as 60 tracks open throughout the United States, the first in Emeryville, California.
1922: The Canadian Criminal Code is amended to ban the use of dice in any gambling activity. Some casinos simulate dice games by placing dice configurations within roulette wheels or on slot machine reels.
Costa Rican law defines legal and illegal casino gambling.
1925: Limited gambling activity is permitted at fairs in Canada.
1928: The first casino in Chile opens at Vina del Mar.
1929: A racetrack is opened at Agua Caliente near Tijuana, Mexico. A casino also has
government approval. 1930: Ireland authorizes its Irish Sweepstakes lottery to benefit hospitals.
1931: The state of Nevada legalizes wide-open casino gambling. At first, gambling is confined to small saloons and taverns and is regulated by cities and counties. Casino taxes consist of set fees on each table or machine game. Taxes are shared between local and state governments.
1933: The first totalizator is used at a U.S. horse racetrack in Arlington Park, Illinois. Soon legal horse race betting returns to several Depression-bankrupt (or near bankrupt) states, including California, Michigan, and Ohio as a means of gaining revenues.
After 60 years Germany again allows casinos as Baden-Baden reopens. Austria also allows casinos.
Casinos are closed in Cuba.
1934: Casinos gain legal status in Macao, and soon the Portuguese enclave becomes the gambling center of Asia.
1935: New horse race betting legislation is approved in Illinois, Louisiana, Florida, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Delaware.
1937: Bill Harrah opens his first gambling hall in Reno, beginning one of the largest casino empires. In 1971 his casino interests become the first to be publicly traded on open stock exchanges.
1938: The casino in Tijuana, Mexico, is closed by the new national government headed by Lazaro Cardenas.
1940: New York legalizes pari-mutuel horse race betting.
1940s and 1950s: Casinos reopen in Cuba under the control of dictator Juan Batista.
1941: The Las Vegas Strip begins its legacy as the world’s primary casino gambling location. The El Rancho Vegas is the first casino on the Strip and is soon joined by the Last Frontier and the Desert Inn. These new-style casinos offer hotel accom¬modations and recreational amenities to tourists.
1944: Argentina closes all private casinos. Many reopen as part of a government corporate monopoly.
1945: Casinos in Panama are placed under government ownership.
The state government of Nevada begins to license casinos for the first time. In addi¬tion to set fees on games, the casinos begin to pay a tax on the amount of money they win from players. Nevada casino activity increases as World War II ends, but operators of illegal gaming establishments throughout the country face a new wave of reform. Reform is triggered with the end of World War II as public resources and public concern turn to domestic problems. Gamblers shift operations to Las Vegas.
1946: Brazil closes its casinos. They remain closed for the remainder of the 20th century.
Gangster Benjamin (“Bugsy”) Siegel, financed by organized crime figure Meyer Lansky, opens the Flamingo Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The casino features a showroom with Hollywood entertainment.
1947: Siegel is murdered at his girlfriend’s Hollywood home. The murder sensation¬alizes the Strip and firms up Las Vegas’s reputation as a risky, naughty place where Main Street Americans can rub shoulders with notorious mobsters.
The Idaho legislature passes a slot machine law that permits licensing and taxing of machines. A few years later the voters decide to outlaw machines once again. 1948: Congress permits casino gambling in Puerto Rico as part of Operation Bootstrap. The first postwar casinos open in Germany. 1949: The voters of Idaho decide to ban all slot machines. No other state completely bans a form of gambling again until 1999. Congress passes the Gambling Ship Act of 1949, which prohibits U.S. flag ships from operating gambling casinos.

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