Urban gambling, linked to poverty, crime and corruption, was once considered a blight on US cities. Gambling then followed the exodus of Americans into the suburbs after World War II and now, at the beginning of the 21st century, most Americans live within a four-hour drive of a casino. What explains the success of places like Las Vegas? The self-contained casino resort removes gambling and its social problems from cities and provides Americans with the comfort of gambling in a setting matched to their suburban lifestyle. In a detailed look at the growth of the earliest casino resorts to the "pleasure palaces" and riverboat casinos of today, "Suburban Xanadu" locates the rise of the casino resort in suburbanization and the significance of this development for today.