Very interesting points, Walter and Sailor. Thanks for posting!
There is another aspect to Space Casinos, that I've already seen parallels to. Some Space Tourist ventures, are working on forming sports teams of the participants to play in micro-gravity. The idea is to create a "reason" for the same Space Tourists to go up again and again. I'd just be happy with the view and a cocktail. But others may find that the only winning-streak they've ever had gambling, was in a Space Casino.
I agree with Sailor, gambling probably won't be THE reason people go into orbit, but it will be another "entertainment option". I think a good Earth equivalent would be a cruise ship. Between ports, you can swim, climb a rock-wall, have endless meal choices, bars for drinking, and some even have slot machines. (Past the International Boundry in the oceans, pretty much anything goes. Or at least it's away from a jurisdiction that can run or tax it. Does anyone know what the International Boundry is in space above Earth?)
Las Vegas has an interesting history. Despite the mobsters starting this "gambling mecca", Nevada would still be an ugly desert state with radiation problems from all the underground testing. Vegas put Nevada on the map, and even now the casinos pay so well that families can move there, get a job with full benefits, and be able to buy a house.
Now that the mobsters have been exchanged for mega-developers, it's more of a family-friendly town. Which was a smart transformation, since every other Indian reservation all over the country now has a casino.
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