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The History Behind Riverboat Casinos

The History Behind Riverboat Casinos  image

The History Behind Riverboat Casinos

Although when many people turn their thoughts to the casinos of America they are likely to conjure up images of the large, luxury complexes located in Las Vegas or Atlantic City there is another type of casino which, although more modest, has stood the test of time.  These are known as riverboat casinos and are, as the name suggests, casinos that are housed in riverboats.  

Although they may lack the glamour of their grander counterparts, they more than make up for it in character.  In fact, such is their charm, some of the large casinos actually have replicas of these riverboat casinos within them and there are a number of online casinos that have a riverboat theme. 
It is said that the popularity of gaming on riverboats was prompted by the hanging of five card sharks in Mississippi in 1835 who were caught in the act of cheating.  This led other card sharks, reluctant to risk finding themselves in a similar position, to only play on the riverboats that they sailed from shore to shore on.  

These riverboats were initially sanctioned by states as a way of circumventing the law that casinos could not be built in certain places. Instead, they created a kind of legal fiction as these floating casinos were not actually built in the areas that they were docked.  This is not to suggest, however, that they were not subject to some restrictions.  To begin with these casinos could not be operated unless the riverboat was sailing.  By 1860 riverboat gambling had become so popular that, by the eve of the Civil War, there were 557 boats in operation.

Overtime the restrictions placed on riverboats have been gradually relaxed.  Eventually the casinos could be used whilst the riverboats were docked, as long as they were capable of being sailed away, and today, in states such as Indiana, they do not even require a captain or crew on board when the casino is open.

The popularity of Riverboat casinos has continued until the current day and they may still be found across the United States of America in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Mississippi and Louisiana.  For those of you who would like to visit such a casino rather than playing online, there is in fact a riverboat casino based in Glasgow, Scotland that can help you to comfortably achieve this goal.

If you are looking to get started with playing at a casino, particularly with playing at an online casino, click here to peruse a list of the most popular and often frequented casinos on the market, as this will enable you to make an informed decision that aids your experience.