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Gambling History


Read true stories. Dive into the underworld. Explore compelling features.

CASINO HISTORY!

“One of the best casino biographies I have seen. Meticulous detail, well researched, and by far the most detailed account yet of the twisted history that the operation deserves. … Your account is superb.”

—Howard W. Herz, American Gaming Archives

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Old Tales of Nevada

IT REALLY HAPPENED!

This blog brings to life compelling and true casino- and gambling-related stories, from around the world, between 1800 and 2000.

  • Crimes

  • Celebrities

  • Lawsuits

  • Gangsters

  • Wins

  • Corruption

  • Casinos

  • Follies

  • Pop culture

  • And much more.

By Doresa Banning

May 11, 2022

Kentuckian Builds U.S. Gambling Franchise in 1800s

1832-1860 Elijah Skaggs, nè Eli Harrison Skaggs (1818-1890) stands out in U.S. gambling history. He was one of the country’s cleverest card tricksters and a hugely successful gambler. More significantly, he created a franchise system for the business of crooked faro. “He probably had more to do with the spread of gambling in this country […]

By Doresa Banning

May 4, 2022

The Case of The Errant Keno Ticket

1949-1950 In a likely unprecedented event, with all of the necessary equipment on hand, demonstrations of how a local casino operated its race horse keno game were provided to the judge and jury in a Reno, Nevada courtroom in 1950. These presentations were part of the defense strategy during the three-day February trial regarding the […]

By Doresa Banning

April 20, 2022

Gambling Club Suffers Great Losses in 1950s, Part II

1959-1960 William “Bill” E. Duffin, co-owner of the Senator Club in Carson City, Nevada, was murdered on Christmas morning of 1959 (see Part I). He left behind his wife Gladys, his sister, his nephew, a business partner and many employees to whom he was like a father. Duffin moved to Nevada in 1943. Before acquiring […]

By Doresa Banning

April 13, 2022

Gambling Club Suffers Great Losses in 1950s, Part I

1958-1959 Two major impactful events occurred, one in 1958, the second 1.5 years later, involving the Senator Club, which offered the game 21 and slot machines. Near the Nevada capitol in Carson City, this casino-restaurant-bar was popular among state legislators and politicians. At the time, Stella C. Vincent and William “Bill” E. Duffin had co-owned […]

Enjoy the Web’s premier source of fact-based gambling and casino history.

While you peruse the content, know that all of it’s been researched and vetted for accuracy as much as possible. Source lists are provided.

All components of the site are works in progress, updated regularly.

Enthralled by Bugsy, Capone, Lanksy, Costello, Luciano, et. al?

The Mobsters section is dedicated to these and similar notables — organized crime members involved in gambling. Bet you a cold beer or a hot latte you can’t ID everyone in the gallery.

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