Why Are Casinos on Water?

June 1, 2023

When one thinks of casinos they usually imagine extravagant surroundings, lavish lighting, and of course – high stakes gambling action. However, many do not know that certain casinos are located on water. From majestic riverboats to floating barges and luxurious cruise ships, casinos on the water have long been a part of casino culture. But why exactly are casinos on the water?

The answer to this question lies in the history of gambling. In countries where gambling was prohibited or restricted, ingenious entrepreneurs created ways to circumvent the laws by taking their venues on the water. The first such solution was the so-called riverboat casino, which consisted of a traditional paddlewheeler that navigated along rivers and offered patrons a unique opportunity to gamble.

This type of casino became quite popular and was adopted by multiple states. Even today, some of the largest gambling establishments in the US are still floating riverboats that offer a variety of gambling services and evoke a nostalgic allure. In addition to this, these vessels can also bring in tourism and generate revenue for the local communities they serve.

But can casinos be built on land, or are they required to be located on water in the US? The answer to this question is somewhat complicated and depends on the state’s laws and cultural implications. While most casinos are located on land, there are some states that require them to be on water to limit their social impact and generate more income for the state.


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