So why are casinos on the water? Casinos in several states are on the water to limit their geographic and social impact while generating revenue for the state. For example, states along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast have opted for aquatic rather than terrestrial states to influence public opinion in their favor. Of course, modern river casinos have been popular since the early 1990s. Iowa was the first state to legalize river boat gambling, with several states bordering the Mississippi River, such as Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Louisiana, jumping on the bandwagon soon after. However, if river boats aren`t your thing, there are plenty of new online casinos popping up all the time. Because the Mississippi River bordered several different states, it was the perfect legal gray area. This has led river boats to become popular entertainment destinations, mixing live music, dancing and gambling, if only for a few hours. However, the railroad boom and the American Civil War in the second half of the 19th century led to a significant decline in the popularity of water transportation and river casinos. Why casinos are on the water is a common question. The truth is that casino gambling in the United States has a complicated history of balancing morality with income. The central locations for gambling in the United States are Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Lake Charles and a variety of casinos that exist on Native American tribal lands. There are also several river casinos on the country`s waterways that appeared in the early 1990s.
Located in the heart of Marquette, Iowa, the Queen Marquette Casino promises visitors an unforgettable “High Rollin` on the River” experience. This remarkable river boat has plenty of floor space, 17,514 square feet to be exact! Players can also enjoy over 566 slots and table games such as blackjack and Texas Hold`em. If you want to dive with the locals, you can also enjoy a few games of Mississippi Stud Poker. Indian casinos, Indian reserves – these are words you may be familiar with. Well, in case you didn`t know, an Indian reservation is an area occupied and administered by a nationally recognized Indian tribe. If you want to fully enjoy the experience of a river casino without having to get close to the water, you should check out our extensive range of in-depth gaming guides that will give you all the information and advice you need to play all your favorite games online or in a live casino. Early river casinos were quite restrictive in terms of what they were allowed to do legally. The game could only take place during a short cruise that lasted several hours. In 1951, Lyndon Johnson drafted the Gambling Machine Transportation Act, which made it illegal to transport slot machines across state borders unless it was legal in the neighboring state. Riverboat casinos have emerged as a solution to the legal gray areas related to state gambling laws. They were seen as a way for the state to increase its revenues through taxes while preventing illegal behavior. Riverboat casinos provided a steady stream of revenue without citizens having to worry about a flood of land-based casinos in their area.
Today, they are mainly moored at ports and offer entertainment, music, table games and sports betting. Today, most water casinos do not move. Some are now stationary vessels that float on blocks of water and are not designed to float at all. If you`ve ever read about the history of gambling in the United States, you`ll know how complicated it is. Gambling was seriously frowned upon in society when casinos were founded. But the government could not ignore the casinos because they were a source of revenue for the government. The government`s goal has always been to balance morality and income. And while that`s easier said than done, the government has done it. Waterwheeled waterboats have long been used on the Mississippi River and its tributaries to transport passengers and cargo. After the railroad largely replaced them in the 20th century, they were used more often for entertainment excursions, sometimes for several hours, than to pass between riverside towns. They were often a way for people to escape the heat of the city and enjoy live music and dancing. The game was also common on river boats, in card games and via slot machines.
Before we give you some river boat recommendations, we would like to give you some anecdotes about Riverboat Casino and historical facts that you might find fascinating. The history of casinos on river boats is based on the laws of the land. Once the profitability of Nevada casinos and those based on Native American land was obvious, other states wanted to make money as well. Therefore, the game on river boats has become a balanced solution in the struggle between social policy and money. Atlantic City, New Jersey is another famous exception to gambling laws that apply to most U.S. states. Originally built as a family-friendly resort on the New Jersey coast, declining revenue led to a change in gambling laws in the `70s. Casinos were legalized for the first time and business exploded. When most states banned gambling, most gamblers started traveling to places where casinos were legal. This resulted in a gambling tourism that was very profitable for the few gaming meccas available.
Since legal countries, states and other territories occupy drylands, the biggest loophole in the law has been water. The Law of the Sea, also known as the Admiralty Act, governs all ships and seafarers of these ships. These laws cover all transportation and trade activities that take place on oceans, seas and rivers that flow between several territories. The law of the sea covers international waters and major ocean regions between countries and continents; This law allowed the creation of the first casino boats in history. Initially, river boats only had to float on the water to allow play. But these laws became stricter and the boats soon had to leave the docks for a trip to another state. In addition to legal problems, river boats began to attract scammers and card smugglers who stole passengers. First, the scammers had a hard hand – hanging them.
Eventually, Riverboat casinos became illegal and remained so until the 1990s. Early river casinos were very restrictive and only allowed you to play for a short cruise – usually a few hours. Play was only allowed once the boat had left the dock and sailed. Normally, it had to be three miles from shore before play could begin. The laws tried to compare these gambling cruises with the tourist trips that were already taking place on the waterways. For example, a Riverboat casino in Iowa could only sail a maximum of 100 times a year at that time. According to the latest figures from 2018, there are currently a total of 63 river casinos in the states of Iowa, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, and Missouri. All of this is packed with entertainment options and many classic casino games such as blackjack and roulette. We can`t think of a better place to start our journey than to paint a picture of the history and heritage of river boats and gambling. In the 1800s, gambling in the United States was somewhat different from what it is today. The Mississippi Great River was the lifeblood of American industry and commerce. Thanks to advances in transportation technology, traders were no longer content to load their horses and wagons, but took advantage of the connections that river transport could provide.
Whether gambling on water or on land, the government couldn`t leave casinos alone. For example, some states – Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois and Louisiana – legalized gambling on river boats in the early 1990s. Revenue was generated and gambling enthusiasts were able to enjoy the thrill of gambling. Win-win situation. However, these boat casinos were exempt from local laws that apply to land-based casinos. If someone wanted to gamble, all they had to do was go to a river casino. Gambling laws have been enforced in the same way as all other laws by prohibiting the operation of casinos in the governed territory. In the United States, decisions that directly affect each state are made by individual states, not the federal government.
Most of the 50 U.S. states have opposed casinos and gambling in the past, with a few exceptions. Soon after the first gambling boats appeared, organized crime families began to buy them and create casinos. By the 1930s, Mafia influence on gambling stretched from Atlantic City to Las Vegas and soon found a new home off the sunny coast of California. Los Angeles mob boss Jack Dragna bought the Monfalcone houseboat and offered gambling off Long Beach. This ship sank only 2 years later due to a fire on board. Nowadays, most boat casinos don`t move. In fact, some are more stationary structures that float on blocks of water. The first steamships quickly allowed play on board, as there wasn`t much else to do. Passengers spent the time playing cards.
It was inevitable that money would be put on the table during these river cruises. The game spread to river boats in the Mississippi in the 1800s. Although it is not an official game approved by law enforcement, it has defined the primacy of the concept. Again, we need to dive into history to explain why casinos are built on rivers. Play on the water began at the time when the first river boats were made. These river boats were an important means of transport and even became more popular than trains. There were also luxury cruise ships that took people to visit and provided various types of entertainment. While governments have struggled with gamblers over the centuries, one thing remains constant: people love to gamble, and they will find creative ways to do so.