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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

April 14, 2021

Subject of Gambling Escapes Hollywood Movie Censors in 1930s

1935 Hollywood movie studios released more than a handful of gambling-related movies in 1935. This seemed unusual given the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America’s (MPPDA) recent re-commitment to ensuring movies didn’t contain content it considered risqué. Impetus Behind the Code The MMPDA — today, the Motion Picture Association — adopted the Motion Picture […]

By Doresa Banning

April 7, 2021

Brazilian Game of Chance Starts as a Business Promotion

1890s-Today A way to drum up business for a failing zoo in the late 19th century, reportedly, quickly evolved into and, to this day, remains an enormously popular game of chance among Brazilians: jogo do bicho. Zoological Pursuit In 1884, Rio de Janeiro businessman João Batista Viana Drummond (1825-1897) purchased what remained of the Fazenda […]

By Doresa Banning

April 2, 2021

Quick Fact - Poem About <i>S.S. Monte Carlo</i> is Attack on Gambling Industry

1938 In the following verse, penned about the S.S. Monte Carlo following its demise, the writer Ida Clarise Gowan uses a hostile, derogatory and accusatory tone. She personifies, or gives human qualities to, the ship, such as being greedy and taking advantage of people. Gowan, then a Coronado, California resident, employs hyperbole by incorporating words […]

By Doresa Banning

March 31, 2021

Fate of the <i>S.S. Monte Carlo</i> Gambling Ship

1932-Today Though local, state and federal authorities were working to eradicate all gambling ships moored off of the Pacific Coast, the S.S. Monte Carlo met its demise at the hands of an unexpected interloper, Mother Nature. On a Stormy Night On New Year’s Eve in 1936, the waterborne casino, closed for the winter, offshore of […]

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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