When you speak of casinos and gambling, Las Vegas and Atlantic City usually come to mind. But many years before these popular gambling destinations were established, gambling in riverboats was the norm rather than the exception.
Early in the 19th century, riverboat casinos plied their trade along the Mississippi River, which was also the major artery of commerce and trade in the United States during those times. Professional gamblers and cardsharps flocked to the river towns along the Mississippi River, looking for wealthy travelers to play against.
The cardsharps later moved away from the south when five of them were lynched in 1835. During the difficult years of the American Civil War, riverboat casinos remained as symbols of wealth and prosperity, and the ultimate idea of pleasure and luxury among the wealthy was gambling in riverboat casinos.
As the gold rush in the western part of the country gained momentum, riverboat casinos slowly lost their stature as the primary gambling destinations. When casino gambling became legal in Nevada in the early 20th century, professional and amateur gamblers gravitated to the state.
But it didn’t take very long for riverboat casinos to stage their comeback. Riverboat casinos were legalized in Iowa in 1989. Mississippi, Massachusetts, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Indiana and other states followed suit.
Gambling in riverboat casinos is an exciting alternative to “brick and mortar” casinos such as those in Las Vegas. A riverboat cruise is more enjoyable and worthwhile when combined with the fun and excitement of Vegas-style casino gambling. You can go sightseeing and basking under the sun in between rounds of poker.
The selection of games at a typical riverboat casino is just the same as in a regular casino. There are the usual slot machines and roulette wheels, along with tables for poker, blackjack, craps, baccarat and other games. Riverboat casinos even provide alternative forms of entertainment for non-gamblers and children, such as live concerts and shows.
If you think that the cardsharps of old are also making a comeback, then you don’t need to worry because most gamblers in riverboat casinos nowadays are recreational and casual ones. They are people who love to play poker and blackjack in between sightseeing and watching scenic spots. Furthermore, riverboat casinos have a much more relaxed and comfortable atmosphere than land-based casinos, and the dealers are usually more friendly and patient.
Riverboat casino cruises are definitely worth your time and money, if you plan to spend a vacation or weekend holiday cruising the rivers, lakes and seas. You can even opt to play at a dockside riverboat casino if you don’t like traveling by water. A riverboat casino cruise can be a memorable experience that you will surely cherish for the rest of your life.