Document Type



Most who have considered Las Vegas history have concluded that not much happened in Las Vegas gaming between the openings of the original MGM Grand (1973) and Mirage (1989). In fact, several structural changes during the 1980s had already reversed a declining appeal. Responding to three crises—competition from Atlantic City, a national economic downturn, and the MGM Grand fire—Las Vegas casino operators began to draw more extensively on a middle-class mass market. Capitalizing on the “Burger King Revolution,” Strip casinos drew more gamblers who, on average, played less, and slot machines displaced table games as the industry’s leading revenue producer. This successful strategy broadened the city’s visitor pool and created a base for later expansion.


Casinos; Economic history; Gambling industry; Nevada – Las Vegas


Gaming and Casino Operations Management | Growth and Development | History | Hospitality Administration and Management | Marketing | Public Relations and Advertising


This is a copy of an article published in Gaming Law Review and Economics: Regulation, Compliance, and Policy © 2010 [copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.]; Gaming Law Review and Economics: Regulation, Compliance, and Policy is available online at:

Publisher Citation

Schwartz, D. G. (2010). The Burger King revolution: How Las Vegas bounced back, 1983-1989. Gaming Law Review and Economics, 14, 261-273. doi:10.1089/glre.2010.14405

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