1931: Nevada legalizes casino gaming.
1947: The Flamingo, operated by mobster Bugsy Siegel, opens in Las Vegas.
1950: The Senate Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, chaired by Sen. Estes Kefauver, begins to hold hearings on criminal influence in the casino industry.
1955: Nevada passes legislation creating the Gaming Control Division under the Nevada Tax Commission.
1959: Nevada passes legislation creating a State Gaming Commission, independent of the Tax Commission, whose function would be establishing and administering gaming regulations.
1966–1970: Howard Hughes purchases numerous casino properties in Nevada. His involvement is a strong signal that the Nevada casino industry presents investment opportunities for legitimate business people, and that the industry is not teeming with mob influence as once was thought.
1967 & 1969: Nevada passes two Corporate Gaming Acts, which remove barriers against the direct involvement of corporations in the casino industry.
1973: Harrah’s Entertainment becomes the first “pure casino” company to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
1976: New Jersey becomes the second state to legalize casino gaming.
1978: The first casino opens in Atlantic City, NJ.
1989: South Dakota and Iowa legalize gaming, kicking off a five-year period of the largest expansion of gaming into new jurisdictions in U.S. history.
1992: The first racetrack casino (racino) opens in Rhode Island. Two years later, four additional states — Delaware, Iowa, Louisiana, and West Virginia — legalize racinos.
1995: The commercial casino industry creates the American Gaming Association (AGA).
1996: The National Center for Responsible Gaming is created.
1997–1999: The National Gambling Impact Study Commission, a congressional study examining the economic and social impacts of commercial casinos, is conducted. Findings reveal commercial casinos provide positive economic and social benefits for casino communities.
2003: The AGA board of directors enacts the AGA Code of Conduct for Responsible Gaming, an industry pledge to employees, patrons and the public to integrate responsible gaming practices into every aspect of daily operations.
2005: Gross gaming revenues in the United States top $30 billion for the first time.
2006: The first racetrack casinos open in Florida and Pennsylvania, bringing the total number of states with racinos to 11.
2007: The Kansas legislature, and subsequently voters in four counties, legalize state-owned casino gambling at four locations.
2008: Two racinos open in Indiana, bringing the number of states with racetrack casinos to 12.
2009: Voters in Ohio approve a constitutional amendment that would bring a casino to each of four cities - Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo.
2009: Kansas opens the first state-owned casino resort - Boot Hill Casino & Resort in Dodge City, KS.
2012: The first casino opens in Ohio.