In 1931, the decline in mining had brought Nevada down to its knees financially, so gambling was legalised in order to boost the economy. Other "economic stimulus measures" included legalising prostitution, quick divorce and quick marriage. These measures were intended as temporary but they were never repelled. The mafia then quickly moved in order to launder their money in the newly built casinos. The mobs were a big part of Nevada until Howard Hughes bought most of Las Vegas in the 1960s. Against that backdrop, Nevada cemented itself as one of top places in the world for gambling and adult entertainment.
Commonly known as Sin City, Las Vegas can best be summed up as Disneyland for adults. Vegas knows how to present "the cultural experience" in a tacky, grandiose way: casinos, clubs, pool parties, shows, restaurants, stripclubs, roller coasters, etc you can even get a quickie wedding by an Elvis Presley impersonator at one of the many chapels.
Vegas is roughly split into 2 sections: the Strip which has all the newer and swankier hotel casino resorts, and Downtown Vegas which has all the older ones. All the casinos along the Strip have a theme and many of them have free shows throughout the day. You are also guaranteed to come across some colorful characters, such as Midget Elvis, Korean Michael Jackson, hookers, countless stripclub promoters and one girl even asked me to go with her to buy some tampons.