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Gambling History

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


“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


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

October 22, 2021

War Disables Nevada Tango Club Owners

1941-1952 The 1941 breakout of war between the U.S. and Japan started a series of deleterious events for Nevada’s first tango parlor Reno Club, Inc. and its proprietors. These included a tangle with a newcomer to the region’s gambling industry, William “Bill” F. Harrah. Longstanding Bingo Business A group of Japanese-American men, all U.S. citizens, […]

By Doresa Banning

October 21, 2021

Quick Fact -- Lady Godiva Trots to New Residence

Lady Godiva has a new address. Looking gorgeous in a long blue dress, she and her horse distinctively embellish the front yard of a Carson City home. Godiva appears as though she’s arriving for a visit, but she’s there to stay, at least until she’s uprooted again. A Look Back In 1970, when Nathan “Nate” […]

By Doresa Banning

October 15, 2021

Two Lake Tahoe Hotel-Casinos Sold in 2021

Acquisitions in the same month of two hotel-casinos near one another at Lake Tahoe in Northern Nevada is anomalous and newsworthy. Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino (Incline Village, NV) Hyatt Hotels Corp., which owned the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe since 1975, sold it for $345 million in September 2021 to Larry Ellison. […]

By Doresa Banning

September 9, 2021

Nevada Gambler-Cum-Mayor Called Out for Bubble Peeking

1955-1956 In March 1955, Nevada gaming regulators accused Caliente mayor Donald E. Rowan of cheating while dealing a 21 game — which is illegal — in the Shamrock Club. He’d operated the Clover Street gambling enterprise with his partner and father-in-law Joe Colombo for seven years. Rowan had been the elected head of this southeastern […]

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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