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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

January 19, 2022

By Doresa Banning

January 12, 2022

Illegal Bookmaking Enterprise Flourishes in the City of Souls

1949-1950 During the Prohibition years in California, 1919 to 1934, San Mateo County was a hotbed for illegal vices — gambling, prostitution and drinking. Even a Mobster, Hillsborough-based Sam Termini, said the county was the state’s most corrupt one in 1930. This was under the watch of James J. McGrath, the sheriff for 24 years […]

By Doresa Banning

January 5, 2022

Early On, The Louvre Suffers Typical Gambling Business Woes

1900-1906 A snapshot of six early years of one popular gambling-saloon in Reno, Nevada spotlights some of the problems these establishments routinely faced: on-site crime, financial troubles, crooked games and changes in both owners and gambling operators. Though the Louvre debuted in May 1897* at 22 E. Commercial Row in the then-called Marshall Building, it […]

By Doresa Banning

December 29, 2021

It Really Happened! Investigates: Who is "Johnny Ox?"

1903 “Accommodation for Johnny Ox,” a gambling-related headline in the Nevada State Journal, March 17, 1903, puzzled us. Curious (read: obsessive), we set out to decipher it. The brief news item relayed two gambling saloons in Reno planned to build an upper level onto their one-story building in which to offer games of chance, per […]

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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