I don't remember when it was that casinos started to proliferate in America outside of Nevada. I do know that what had been a trickle, by the 1990s, had become a flood.
Now, in 2009, on a Roadtrip across the American West you will find casinos in almost every state, the biggest casino exception being Texas. But, the states that surround Texas all have legalized casino gambling, with Oklahoma having the world's 5th biggest casino, that being WinStar World Casino Resort, right across the Red River border from Texas.
Oklahoma has dozens of casinos. I would guess only Nevada has more casinos than Oklahoma.
With the 3 west coast states all having legalized gambling, times got tougher for Nevada. Las Vegas had to amp up its uniqueness to remain a destination. Reno has had a much tougher time of it. I've lost count of the number of Roadtrips I took to Reno over the years, back when Nevada was unique.
Nevada being so unique ended years before I moved to Texas. The valley I lived in in Washington, that being the Skagit Valley, has two large casino resorts, those being the Skagit Valley Casino, owned by the Skagit Tribe and the Swinomish Northern Lights Casino, owned by the Swinomish Tribe.
Many of the casinos in the west rival Vegas quality in their theming and architecture. The two photos you see here are from the Tulalip Casino Resort in Marysville. In front of the casino there is a large water feature with Orcas, a giant Tulalip Indian spearing giant salmon, waterfalls and sound effects. You walk into the Tulalip Casino with large waterfalls crashing around you.
Click to see more Tulalip Casino pictures and a list of Washington's Casinos.
One nice thing about the proliferation of casinos throughout the west, pertaining to Roadtripping, is you are usually not far from the next casino, where you can take a rest stop, find cheap eats, usually a good buffet. Or, if you are just thirsty, most casinos I've been in have free drink stations where you can get coffee, tea or sodas.