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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

November 24, 2021

Quick Fact -- Big Business

It opened in 1939 and for years was the world’s largest. It was (and still is) in Argentina‘s Mar del Plata, the “smartest, most opulent, most ostentatious shore resort in South America,” as described by “Around the World” columnist Temple Manning in 1949 (The Courier-Express). Its large, magnificent building showcased an eclectic architectural style. It […]

By Doresa Banning

November 22, 2021

Female Axe Murderer Gets Results

1937-1939 In 1937, an Alton, Illinois woman took on the local gambling-Mobsters and the political machine … with an axe. Motivating Factors In Irene Kite‘s county of Madison, gambling was illegal, yet law enforcement and local government allowed certain establishments offering games of chance to operate openly. Her husband Carl’s card club had been one […]

By Doresa Banning

November 11, 2021

The Brief Tale of Jokereno, Game and Club, in "The Biggest Little City"

1931-1932 In 1931, the year Nevada legalized gambling on a wide open basis, the state’s major metropolis Reno saw the introduction of the game of chance jokereno and the namesake place offering it commercially, the Jokereno Club. However, Lady Luck didn’t smile on either. Giving it a Go Two East Coast men opened the Jokereno […]

By Doresa Banning

November 5, 2021

Paintings of Canine Gamblers Still Ring True 100 Years Later

1894-Today In his paintings depicting dogs as humans, Cassius “Kash” Marcellus Coolidge (1844-1934) brilliantly captured the nuances of poker playing and gambling. The dogs’ expressions are spot on and the details, comedic. Perhaps Coolidge himself had some experience in that world. Along with Poker Game (above), here are the paintings, all oils on canvas, created […]

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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