Vegas Live Dealer Guidelines

The History of Westcoast Gambling

Before 1850, the West was generally inhabited by strays--- cowboys, prospectors, miners, and fur traders. It was a crude region, populated almost exclusively by men.

There were no laws and no formal government to restrain antisocial behavior. In fact, early West was more a collection of individuals than any sort of coherent society. When these loners did gather, it was often to conduct such riotous rituals as the 'rendezvous' of the fur trappers.

Gambling, whoring, and drinking took place openly and was welcomed in the early boom towns for the fat profit it yielded.

As one author crudely put it, 'four things indicate prosperity in a mining town--- Hebrews, gamblers, common women, and fleas. Hebrews, gamblers, and common women are accurate thermometers of ready money and prosperity. When Jews and gamblers pull stakes for another town, it is a safe guess that prosperity is also going'.

Gambling was not considered socially degrading in these impromptu communities. Moreover, until these areas garnered enough residents to win formal territorial recognition, problems of law and order were settled by local people, who set up rudimentary policing functions.

But cheating, and the violence it spawned, had to be controlled in the early West. Too often, this meant a vigilante hanging or two. Vigilante justice quickly become as loathsome and as unruly as the evils it sought to correct.

Slowly, even the cowboy and the miner came to see the need for law. Yet it was not the cowboy or the miner who brought the restraints of civilization to the old West.

After the Civil war, settlement of the West by farmers and their families was actively promoted. The war had resolved the conflict over whether future Western states would be slave or free.

Sizable areas of the Kansas, Nebraska, and Dakota territories were already well-populated by the 1850s, but other more distant regions awaited the coming of the railroads for large-scale immigration.

Until the end of the nineteenth century, however, the journey west was extremely dangerous. Most settlers had to cross the continent in wagons or on foot.

The constant threat or violence from Indians and other settlers was another hazard of the Western wilderness.

In 1873, an Arizona vigilante group called the law and Order society lynched four alleged murderers on of Tucson's busiest streets.

Even later, in 1881, the Earp brothers and Doc Holiday steeled their dispute with the Clantons in a gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Ultimately, private law enforcement was replaced by a formal government only when there were enough immigrants to warrant territorial recognition by the federal government.

The territory's residents would elect a legislature, and the federal government would appoint a governor and judges.


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