Undoubtedly what the authorities believe this statement to mean is that all money that comes to Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas. Whatever money that crosses the Las Vegas border must be extracted from anyone that has it in their possession and safely transferred into the possession of the gambling companies. The only circumstance where money can leave Las Vegas is in the form of cash inside a well guarded bank van to where it will be taken to a Bank in California where it wlll be exchanged for a Bankers Certificate. This Bank Document will have a certain value and will be accepted as legal tender by any government or banking authority. But has the benefit of not being able to be traced.
The main objective of Las Vegas is to relieve all visitors of their money. And for all visitors to be happy to be relieved of their cash. Do it with pleasure. Everyone can have a good time.
No matter how rich or poor you are there will be a representative of the gambling industry waiting to take care of you. To guide you on your way. To help you find your own gambling table. Your own slot machine.
Las Vegas could be called a city of people who are different.
My interest in Las Vegas was imparted to me by an English acquaintance who was obsessed with Las Vegas. He had gone there first in the early 60’s thinking he might get a job at the University of Las Vegas. It was a scam and the university consisted of one room in a back street. The Chancellor was later convicted of mail fraud. But while my friend was there he took a helicopter ride and made a short cine camera film. After I watched it my comment was - Is it that small! ? "Yes!" he said, "It's really only two blocks."
Las Vegas was portrayed even at that point as being a large city with lots of bright lights and bustling traffic. Many large buildings. In the harsh light of day when the film was taken it seemed to be one street and a loose scattering of buildings surrounded by desert. A distinct absence of traffic. The fabled Sands Hotel was out of town and was indeed surrounded by sand and sand was a problem. Sand was continually getting inside the building. What the patrons made of Noel Coward singing 'Mad Dogs and Englishman go out in the Midday Sun' can only be imagined. But Las Vegas was always good at merging culture with entertainment.
My friend went to Las Vegas every year if he could. He had been married in Las Vegas three times - twice to the same girl. This seemed very un-English to me at the time.
My favourite Las Vegas person is an eccentric middle aged man who lives inside a culvert that is under the highway leading into town. He collects newspapers that have been thrown out of cars and keeps them inside his culvert home. In neat rows. He describes himself as an environmentalist. He is devoting his life to this purpose. He explains he is making a study of the changes in the environment. He makes some money by collecting bottles and redeeming them at the council tip.
Las Vegas was not always a gambling town. Indeed for a time all gambling was forbidden. One complication was that the city stretched over two separate local government areas. The first casinos appeared only in the second local government area. Las Vegas started as a Railway Station. It was a staging post for the military during the war. Soldiers gambled to waste away the time waiting to be moved. The casinos developed from these humble beginnings.
Las Vegas always had several problems. The government of Nevada considered themselves to be a southern state and had a policy of strict segregation. The city fathers followed the policy with enthusiasm. Any African American who came to the town had to live in a designated area and was not permitted to go downtown, let alone enter any of the gaming houses. However the designated areas for coloured people was in the area that permitted gambling and this was how some casinos started. Eventually gambling was permitted in all of Las Vegas and THE STRIP was extended to include all of Las Vegas.
Segregation sometimes had inconvenient unintended consequences. When the mob bought into hotels they sometimes wanted to hire coloured staff. They thought it was more classy to have a coloured maitre d in a striking uniform standing at the front door welcoming guests to the hotel. They wanted coloured waiters inside their hotels. They wanted coloured maids. This brought them into conflict with the city authorities. Not that they allowed coloured people to stay in their hotels. They didn;t go that far. But they did have coloured entertainers headlining in their large rooms. In the end it was claimed that Frank Sinatra desegregated Las Vegas. Sammy Davis had a severe car accident and the ambulance could not find a hospital that would accept him. Hospitals were segregated. There was no hospital for coloured people in Las Vegas. Frank Sinatra used his influence to change things.
Later on some hotels wanted to hire only Mormons. The hotel owners claimed this as their civil right. They argued that it was their right to hire any type of ethnic group they wanted. It was a matter of freedom. They should be free to do this. Later on the Civil Rights Act stopped this behaviour to a large extent.
Las Vegas has developed into a large scale entertainment city. It is still however, a city where there is not much evidence of people of colour.
Las Vegas is a continuing civil experiment. It will continue to experiment trying to exact the science of what comes to Vegas stays in Vegas. It will continue to do so. Will the science ever be perfected?
The colour of money is green. The town is no longer officially segregated. Corruption is no longer evident. Well not flagrantly. But money can still arrange most things.
It means to stay in Las Vegas.