Scroll to top

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

Available in:

Paperback: here and at, and

E-book: Kindle, EPUB, KOBO, NOOK and Apple

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

May 12, 2021

The Tavern, "Reno's Smartest Night Club," Endures Nine Years

1932-1941 The original owners of The Tavern in Reno planned to open it on Nevada Day (October 31) in 1932, but the economic downturn in the state, caused by The Great Depression, forced them to delay it. “Prior to October 29, Nevada had not felt the hardships of the nation’s worst depression as had other […]

By Doresa Banning

May 5, 2021

At Reno Gambling Club, The Crowd Roars One Day, A Fire, The Next

1941 In the wee Sunday morning hours of May 4, employees closed The Tavern after a busy Saturday night of patrons gambling, dining and dancing to live music. The place was bereft of people except for the night watchman. Suddenly, around 5:15 a.m., he noticed flames inside. He ran to the cabin behind the club […]

By Doresa Banning

April 28, 2021

Circumstances of Fatal Gambling Argument Atypical

1936 Gambling disputes ending in someone’s death typically involved men, were over alleged cheating and happened at saloons or other enterprises offering games of chance. However, the circumstances behind the 1936 case of Paul F. Rohl, 33, in Los Angeles, California differed. Death Comes to Light Police officers responded to a call about a shooting, […]

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.

Share your knowledge with us. wouldn’t have come about without input from you, and your help is critical in making this the leading site of its kind.

We welcome all comments, information, ideas and questions! Feel free to connect with us here or on social media.