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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

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

January 13, 2021

Nevada Casino Patrons From California Meet Horrendous Fate

1969 A group of Southern Californians, winding down from a Monday night of gambling at the El Capitan Club in Hawthorne, Nevada, were on the “Gamblers Special” flight back home. The plane never made it. Instead, it vanished in the wee morning darkness. Adverse Weather Predicted Piloted by Fred Hall, the twin-engine Douglas DC-3, carrying […]

By Doresa Banning

January 6, 2021

By Doresa Banning

December 30, 2020

Carlin Hotelman Turns Slot Machine Loser When He Violates Gambling Law

1947-1960 One Carlin, Nevada business owner learned the hard way that the state didn’t tolerate gambling operators cheating the players.  Gino Quilici just had been granted a gambling license in August 1952 for the State Inn, in the small city about 270 miles northeast of Reno. Only three months later, the Nevada Gaming Control Board […]

By Doresa Banning

December 23, 2020

Historic Droodle Depicts Gambling Euphemisms

1957 Here’s one of Roger Price’s Droodles, funny drawings of everyday objects, called “Sick With the Measles.“ The accompanying anecdote read: “When my landlady Mrs. Goonsgarten saw this Droodle, she made me sign a statement saying that I never again would mention the subject of dice or gambling in her boarding house. I don’t blame […]

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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