National Geographic : 1974 Jun
Glitter Gulch frames Las Vegas's most famous resident, odds-maker "Jimmy the Greek" Snyder (above). First settled in the mid-1800's by Mor mons, the city bloomed into a world-renowned whirligig of chance after Nevada legalized gam bling in 1931. Today the energy crisis has dimmed the Gulch's glitter, but big-name entertainers and lavish floor shows like the Folies Bergere at the Tropicana Hotel (upper, left) still lure tourists to the state's largest city. Gambling remains the main attraction -and the state's major industry-grossing nearly a billion dollars last year. At every casino, security agents keep watch on dealers and players, often by overseeing the gaming tables through one-way windows (left). Matrimony takes its chances in Reno, where bill board-glutted Fourth Street caters to thousands seeking instant marriages or easy divorces (right).