In 1931, as a freshman Assemblyman, Phil Tobin introduced a bill to legalize gambling in Nevada. A Humboldt County rancher and buckaroo, the 29-year old had no interest in gambling himself. Instead, he correctly believed legalized gambling would benefit the public and especially schools thanks to tax revenues. At the time, illicit gambling houses were thriving in Las Vegas, and with Hoover Dam slated to begin construction 40 miles away, many feared the increased Federal presence associated with the Dam construction effort would lead to a clamp-down. The measure passed. After serving out his term, Tobin returned to ranch life for good.