Where did this tradition of gambling come from? Surprisingly, Vegas is one of the newest cities in the USA, established in 1905. The building of the Hoover Dam attracted workers and The Strip developed as a place for those workers to eat and entertain themselves. Gambling was legalized in 1931 and a rapid growth after WWII and the efficient running of casinos by organized crime bosses such as Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel made the city what it is today.
There is more to Vegas than just gambling and live entertainment. Shooting automatic rifles indoors, taking high speed sports cars such as ferraris for joyrides on an indoor track, visiting the pinball hall of fame, helicopter tours, and indoor skydiving are all options.
Here's a vid of the indoor skydiving. Cool, huh? (Not quite as cool as that Angel Falls base jumping from my Angel Falls post, though.)