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Gambling History

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



Now available in paperback, Kindle, and EPUB

The blog, It Really Happened!, brings to life the fascinating stories of gambling-related:

  • Crimes

  • Celebrities

  • Lawsuits

  • Gangsters

  • Wins

  • Corruption

  • Casinos

  • Follies

  • Pop culture

  • And much more.

By Doresa Banning

October 29, 2020

Wacky Gambling News From the 1930s, 1940s

“Pigeon Jailed for Gambling” New York, May 29, 1941 Two New York Police Department plainclothesmen arrested a pigeon that then was forced to spend the night in the Bronx police station. Five other such birds, on the lam, were wanted. Two men also were apprehended. The capture went down on the roof of a tenement […]

By Doresa Banning

October 14, 2020

Man Who Inspired Casino Moniker Can't (or Won't) Rest in Peace

The ghost of an elderly man, most likely the property’s namesake, is said to haunt Whiskey Pete’s Hotel and Casino in State Line (now Primm), Nevada, Janice Oberding, paranormal enthusiast and investigator, wrote in Haunted Las Vegas. Whether or not one believes this, Peter “Whiskey Pete” McIntyre certainly has reasons to hang around rather than […]

By Doresa Banning

October 7, 2020

ICU Nurses Gamble on What Day Critical Patients Will Die

1980 Certain Intensive Care Unit (ICU) employees at a Las Vegas, Nevada hospital were putting money down on the date the critically ill people under their care would die, and some wagerers were ensuring they’d win, by interfering with the equipment helping keep the patients alive. This was the allegation a hospital worker made in […]

By Doresa Banning

September 30, 2020

Casino Dice Designed to Thwart Customer Cheating

“Dice are the most ancient gambling implements known to man, and the most universal, having been known in nearly all parts of the world since earliest times.” —Hoyle’s Rules of Games From size to spot design, the basic elements of dice have evolved over time. Much of the changes made to U.S. dice over the […]

Old Tales of Nevada

Enjoy the Web’s premier source of fact-based gambling 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 notables like them — criminal syndicate 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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