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Museum of Gaming History
An Educational Project of The Casino Chip & Gaming Token Collectors Club, Inc.
An IRS approved 501 (c) (3) Tax Exempt Not-For-Profit Corporation
Dedicated to the preservation and education of Gaming History
Gaming History - Week of June 29, 2014
June 30th
2014 - Monday

1920 - Reno, NV.   Charles Mapes was born in Reno, Nevada.

1978 - Rochester Minnesota.   Over time, Harrah expanded his casino several times, and built a hotel tower in 1969. Harrah's Lake Club at Lake Tahoe is another story in and of itself, having grown from one side of the highway and then to the other at the old Stateline Country Club, but Harrah loved it even more, if that was possible. Harrah's Tahoe opened its Hotel in 1973. Harrah was a huge sports enthusiast, but nothing compared to his love for cars and his massive car collection grew to easily become the largest and finest in the world.Harrah trusted his top executives, and while he spent time walking his properties and demanding that things were perfect, he delegated authority and his managers appreciated his trust in their ability to manage his properties. Harrah died on June 30, 1978, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, at the age of 66, during a cardiac surgery operation to repair an aortic aneurysm. .
Link to: William F Harrah Wikipedia

1996 - Las Vegas Nevada.   The Sands Closed June 30, 1996. On November 26, 1996, it was imploded and demolished, much to the dismay of longtime employees and sentimentalists.on June 30, 1996. On November 26, 1996, it was imploded and demolished, much to the dismay of longtime employees and sentimentalists. Footage of the demolition also appeared in the closing credits of The Cooler. The climactic plane crash in 1997's Con Air ended with the aircraft crashing into the soon-to-be-demolished Sands' lobby.
Link to: Sands Wikipedia

2002 - Bossier City, LA.   Casino Magic! closes.

Month of July Events
1937 - Reno, NV.   John's Bar (a/k/a John's Place) opened at 16 West Second Street. It was slots-only until October of 1940 when a license was obtained to run football pools. In January of 1946 roulette and 21 were added. In February of 1947 John's was sold to Bill Dixon and Bill Wirts, who changed the name to Stork Club.

1951 - Reno, NV.   Haymarket Club opened at 10 West Commercial Row. The property had been idle since May of 1949, when a fire severely damaged the Blue Bird Club which had been on the property. .

1959 - Aruba.   Aruba Caribbean Grand Opening. In the summer of 1959 the official opening took place of the Aruba Caribbean Hotel, the first luxury resort of Aruba. With the capacity of 120 rooms, the hotel provided jobs for 160 people, 120 of which were ‘locals’, the rest American managers.
Aruba Caribbean Hotel - 1962

1975 - Reno, NV.   The Sundowner Hotel-Casino opened at 450 North Arlington Avenue. .

July 1st
2014 - Tuesday

1938 - Reno, NV.   Harrah's Plaza Tango was licensed for one tango (bingo) game. Harrah's Plaza Tango was located at 14 East Commercial Row, next to the Wine House. It was the second tango parlor opened by Bill Harrah, in Reno. It closed after two months.

1938 - Reno, NV.   The Monte Carlo cocktail lounge opened at 218 Sierra Street, in the Ames Hotel. It offered 21, craps and roulette for approximately six months.

1941 - Reno, NV.   The Mint opened at 210 North Virginia Street, former location of the Block N Club. The Mint closed in August of 1942. In 1946 Bill Harrah opened his first full casino at this site.

1943 - Reno, NV.   Acme Bar opened at 268 North Virginia Street, Reno. Closed January 10, 1944.

1944 - Reno, NV.   The Tropics, at 130 North Center Street, was licensed for 21, roulette, craps and big-6. Formerly the site of the Dog House, the site was redecorated with a tropical Hawaiian Island theme. The Tropics wasn't licensed after July 1, 1946, and it closed in February of 1947.

1948 - Reno, NV.   Harlem Club opened at 221 East Douglas Alley, in Reno. In 1968 the name was changed to the Soul Club, which operated until 1977.

1948 - Reno, NV.   Jim's Bar opened at 135 East Second Street, where one 21 game operated until April 1, 1949.

1948 - Reno, NV.   The Mesa opened on the Mount Rose Highway, offering slots, roulette and 21, in addition to dining and dancing.

1948 - Reno, NV.   The Rancho Bar opened at 3310 South Virginia Street, offering slots, 21 and roulette. The club operated until September 30, 1950. .
Swede Collet was one of the owners of the Rancho Bar

1955 - Reno, NV.   The Primadonna Club opened at 241 North Virginia Street...the first major casino allowed to cross the "red line" and operate on the west side of Virginia Street. In July of 1964 five showgirl statues were placed on the club's marquee; the center statue was 35 feet tall, the other four were each approximately 20 feet. Ernie Primm sold the Primadonna to the Del Webb Corporation in 1974. The Webb Corporation ran the Primadonna until 1979, when it was absorbed into Del Webb's Sahara Reno. On December 31, 1981, the Hilton Hotel Corporation purchased all of the Sahara Reno property.

1957 - Reno, NV.   The Coral Reef opened at the former site of Colbrandt.

1963 - Las Vegas, NV.   Lady Luck Hotel & Casino opens at 206 North 3rd Street, downtown Las Vegas.
Link to: The Lady Luck Casino and Hotel

1963 - Las Vegas Nevada.   The Castaways Hotel and Casino, formerly the Showboat Hotel and Casino was a hotel and casino located at the north end of the Boulder Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. The hotel consisted of a 19 story tower containing 445 rooms, a 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) casino and an adjacent RV park.Harrah's refused to sell the Showboat name, not wanting the Las Vegas property to be confused with Showboat Atlantic City, so VSS renamed it as the Castaways.The new owners never did well and according to the Associated Press, the facility was crippled by a downturn in tourism that occurred in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Discussions were held in 2002 to rebrand the property as a Holiday Inn and start a $57 million renovation and expansion,but these plans did not come to fruition. .
Link to: Castaways Wikipedia
$5.00 chip

1965 - Reno, NV.   The Sands Motel opened at 345 North Arlington Avenue, with three slot machines. In March of 1970 the Sands received the approval to install 415 slot machines. By 1977 blackjack and keno had been added to the casino. The hotel and the casino both continued to grow, and on April 1, 1981, Mr. C's Casino opened in the Sands...not a new casino, just a new name for the casino which had been known as the Sands Plaza. In 1999 the Cladianos family, the original owners of the Sands, sold their shares to Sapphire Gaming LLC. .

1965 - Reno, NV.   The Whistle Stop opened at 275 North Virginia Street, the former location of Poor Pete's. Whistle Stop closed in 1966.

1967 - Las Vegas, NV.   Bonanza Hotel & Casino opens at 3645 Las Vegas Blvd. South - later to be the site of the original MGM Grand Hotel & Casino.

1968 - Reno, NV.   The Silver Spur Casino opened at 221 North Virginia Street, where it operated for 13 years. Late in the 1980's the Silver Spur was sold to Bob Cashell, who operated it as part of his Horseshoe Club until 1995.

1969 - Las Vegas, NV.   The Landmark Tower was a hotel/casino located in Paradise, Nevada. The Landmark opened on July 1, 1969 and closed on August 8, 1990.The Landmark played host to famous celebrities such as Danny Thomas, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Freddy Fender's first appearance.With just 525 rooms, the Landmark was small in comparison to the newer Las Vegas mega resorts.
Link to: The Landmark Wikipedia
The Landmark in 1978

1969 - Reno, NV.   The Money Tree opened at 211 North Virginia Street, owned by Charles Mapes. Due to the success of the Money Tree, Mapes built an expansion that opened on July 1, 1978...the same time that Reno's Circus Circus and the Sahara Reno opened. The sudden increase in the amount of available gaming and hotel rooms, without an equal increase in customers, meant severe financial problems for some of the casinos in Reno- including the Money Tree. In December of 1982 the Money Tree Closed.

1970 - Las Vegas, NV.   Little Caesars Casino opens at 3665 Las Vegas Blvd. South, on the Las Vegas Strip.
$100 chip

1971 - Las Vegas, NV.   The Flamingo Las Vegas is a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Las Vegas, Nevada and is owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment. The property includes a 77,000-square-foot (7,200 m2) casino along with 3,626 hotel rooms. The 15-acre (6.1 ha) site's architectural theme is reminiscent of the Art Deco and Streamline Moderne style of Miami and South Beach, with a garden courtyard housing a wildlife habitat featuring flamingos. It was the third resort to open on the Strip, and it is the oldest resort on the Strip still in operation today. The Flamingo has a Las Vegas Monorail station, the Flamingo/Caesars Palace station, at the rear of the property. After opening in 1946, it has undergone a number of ownership changes.
Link to: The Flamingo Website   Link to: The Flamingo Wikipedia

1972 - Las Vegas, NV.   Royal Inn Casino opens at 305 Convention Center Drive. 1st casino owned by Michael Gaughan and Frank Toti.
Opening week ad from Fabulous Las Vegas Magazine

1973 - Las Vegas, NV.   Riata Casino opens at 3001 Las Vegas Blvd. South, later becomes Silver City - Las Vegas Strip.

1973 - Las Vegas, NV.   The property began as the $2 million, 180-room Flamingo Capri motel, owned by George E. Goldberg and Bill Capri. The motel was built directly north of the Flamingo Hotel and Casino, where Capri was an employee. The motel began construction in May 1959, with a planned completion date of August 15, 1959. Douglas Honnold and John Rex, both of Beverly Hills, California, were the architects. Maurice N. Aroff of Beverly Hills was the general contractor.The Flamingo Capri opened in 1959. The original Flamingo agreed to provide hotel services to guests at the Capri.
Link to: The Flamingo Capri Wikipedia

1973 - Las Vegas, NV.   Mecca Club opens downtown Las Vegas, closes in 5 months.

1974 - Las Vegas, NV.   Nevada Hotel opens at 235 South Main St., Las Vegas.

1976 - Las Vegas, NV.   Sundance West Casino opens at 32 East Fremont Street, downtown Las Vegas, the former site of Gambler's Hall of Fame, future site of Sassy Sally's and Mermaids.

1976 - Reno, NV.   Gold Dust East opens at 34 West Second Street, Reno.

1976 - Las Vegas Nevada .   Palace Station is a hotel and casino located in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is owned and operated by Station Casinos and has 1,053 rooms. Palace Station has a large Asian customer base due to its 10 mini-baccarat tables and 2 full size baccarat tables, and because of its location near Chinatown.
Link to: Palace Station Website   Link to: Palace Station Wikipedia

1977 - Las Vegas, NV.   Bingo Palace Hotel & Casino opens at 2540 Rancho Road, Las Vegas.

1977 - Las Vegas, NV.   El Inca Casino opens at 4600 Paradise Road, Las Vegas. Closes exactly two years later.

1977 - Las Vegas, NV.   Maxim Hotel & Casino opens at 160 East Flamingo Road, Las Vegas.

1978 - Las Vegas, NV.   Big Nickel Casino opens at 400 East Ogden, downtown Las Vegas.

1978 - Las Vegas, NV.   Holiday International Hotel & Casino opens at 300 North Main Street, downtown Las Vegas. Later this will be the location of Main Street Station.

1978 - Las Vegas, NV.   Ambassador Hotel & Casino opens at 377 East Flamingo, Las Vegas.

1978 - Las Vegas, NV.   Nob Hill Casino opens at 3411 Las Vegas Blvd. South, on the Las Vegas Strip, later becomes Casino Royale.

1978 - Reno, NV.   Circus Circus opened at 500 North Virginia St., Reno.

1978 - Reno, NV.   The Sahara Reno opened at 255 South Virginia Street with 900 slot machines, 79 table games and keno. The property was owned by the Del Webb Corporation. Never financially sound, the Sahara Reno was sold to the Hilton Corporation on December 29, 1981, and the property operated as the Flamingo Hilton.

1980 - Las Vegas, NV.   Slot Joynt Casino opens at 3750 Las Vegas Blvd. South, on the Las Vegas Strip, later becomes Boardwalk Hotel & Casino.

1980 - Reno, NV.   Golden Resort Hotel & Casino opens at 567 West Fourth Street, the former location of the Reef Hotel. It closes after less than 11 months.

1982 - Las Vegas, NV.   Paddlewheel Hotel & Casino opens at 305 Convention Center Drive, Las Vegas.

1982 - Las Vegas, NV.   San Remo Hotel & Casino opens at 115 East Tropicana, had been Polynesian, Las Vegas.

1988 - Las Vegas Nevada.   The Mint closed July,1 1988. Then was sold to become part of Binions Horseshoe.
$25 Chip

1989 - Las Vegas, NV.   O'Sheas Casino is a casino located within The Linq on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. As part of The Linq, it is owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment Corporation and is connected to the exterior to a shopping/dining promenade, also owned by Caesars. The revitalized O'Sheas has three bars - the main Dublin Up Bar, the Lucky Bar and the exterior-facing Blarney Bar. The casino includes beer pong tables, a stage, a dance floor and a pit with games including blackjack, roulette, and craps. .
Link to: O' Sheas Casino Wikipedia

1989 - Reno, NV.   Flamingo Hilton opened at 255 North Sierra St, Reno.

1993 - Las Vegas, NV.   Debbie Reynolds' Hotel & Casino opens at 305 Convention Center Drive, had been the Paddlewheel, off-strip Las Vegas .

1994 - Philadelphia, MS.   Silver Star Casino opens.

1995 - Lake Charles, LA.   Isle of Capri casino opens.

1997 - Atlantic City, NJ.   Bally's Wild Wild West casino opens as an adjunct to Bally's Park Place. .

2000 - Lula, MS.   Isle of Capri casino opens.

2000 - Natchez, MS.   Isle of Capri casino opens.

2000 - Coahoma, MS.   Lady Luck Casino closes.

2002 - Bossier City, LA.   Boomtown casino opens.

2014 - Las Vegas Nevada.   In November 2011, it was reported the Las Vegas Hilton would be renamed as the LVH-Las Vegas Hotel and Casino on January 3, 2012, as the contract to use the Hilton brand ended. Like its now-former sister property, ACH Casino Resort, it took on its initials as its new name.The LVH was sold at a foreclosure auction in October 2012 to the only bidder, a partnership of Goldman Sachs and Gramercy Capital. The Navegante Group was brought in to manage the property. On February 4, 2013 it was announced that LVH would be affiliating with Red Lion Hotels.Goldman Sachs and Colony sold the resort to Westgate Resorts on June 30, 2014 for between $150 and $170 million. Westgate renamed the resort the Westgate Las Vegas on July 1, 2014. The letters LVH were removed from the huge sign in front of the hotel that day. .
Link to: Westgate Las Vegas Wikipedia   Link to: Westgate Las Vegas Website

July 2nd
2014 - Wednesday

1922 - St Joseph Missouri.   Jay Sarno was an American business entrepreneur who owned several high-profile hotels.Sarno was the founder of both the Caesars Palace hotel and the Circus Circus, and many credit him with being the father of today's more family-oriented Las Vegas. Ironically, although Sarno seemed to believe that Las Vegas could survive with fewer gamblers and more families visiting, he was himself a gambler. His former wife, Joyce Sarno Keys, once declared that, during one day of gambling, Sarno won 100,000 dollars, only to leave the same night with a debt of exactly that same amount.
Link to: Jay Sarno Wikipedia
Jay Sarno

1946 - Reno, NV.   The Piccadilly opened at 233 North Virginia Street, the former location of the Virginia Bar. In late 1952 the Piccadilly was sold, it reopened as the Nugget.
A magazine ad from February, 1948

1958 - Las Vegas, NV.   The Stardust Resort and Casino was a casino resort located on 63 acres (25 ha) along the Las Vegas Strip in Winchester, Nevada.The Stardust opened in 1958, although most of the modern casino complex — including its main 32-story tower — was built in 1991. It was demolished on March 13, 2007, a short lifetime even by Las Vegas standards, where casinos are torn down and rebuilt on a regular basis. Shortly after the resort opened, the defunct nearby Royal Nevada hotel and casino (opened in 1955) was converted to become part of the Stardust.The Stardust officially closed at 12:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) on November 1, 2006 after operating continuously for 48 years. It was imploded on March 13, 2007, around 2:33 a.m. In 2007, Boyd Gaming, which owned the property, began construction on Echelon Place, Stardust's intended replacement. Construction was halted in 2008, however, during the economic downturn. .
Link to: Stardust Wikipedia

1969 - Las Vegas, NV.   It opened in 1969 as the International Hotel, and was known for many years as the Las Vegas Hilton, then briefly as the LVH – Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. It was renamed the Westgate Las Vegas on July 1, 2014. The hotel is 30 stories tall with a height of 114.30 meter / 375.00 feet. Located on 64 acres (26 ha), it has a 74,000 square feet (6,900 m2) casino and is also home to the largest sports book in Las Vegas. The hotel is located next to the Las Vegas Convention Center and has its own 200,000 sq ft (19,000 m2) convention center, and a station along the Las Vegas Monorail.
Link to: International Wikipedia

1971 - Las Vegas, NV.   The International Hotel was sold to Hilton Hotels Corporation in 1970 and renamed the Las Vegas Hilton in 1971. Liberace headlined in the showroom during the 1970s, drawing sold-out crowds twice per night. When he signed his contract at the Hilton in 1972 he earned $300,000 per week, a record amount for individual entertainers in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Hilton was the site in 1978 where Leon Spinks defeated Muhammad Ali for the World Heavyweight Championship. It was also the site in which Mike Tyson defeated Tony Tucker to unify and become the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion in 1986. Also, Donald Curry defeated Milton McCrory at the Las Vegas Hilton to unify and become the Undisputed Welterweight Champion in December 1985.
Link to: Las Vegas Hilton Wikipedia

1971 - Las Vegas, NV.   The Plaza Hotel & Casino is a casino–hotel located in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada owned by the Tamares Group, and PlayLV is the leaseholder and operator of the property. It currently has 1,037 rooms and suites, as well as an 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) casino and there is more than 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) of event space. The Plaza also features a classic showroom, seasonal roof top swimming pool, and fitness center, as well as a race and sports book.The Plaza began an extensive $35 million renovation project at the end of 2010 that included brand new guest rooms and suites, an entirely remodeled casino floor and lobby, and all new restaurants, bars and entertainment options. The renovations utilize contemporary furnishings and materials purchased from the Fontainebleau resort after it suspended construction on the Las Vegas Strip. The hotel and the full casino reopened on September 1, 2011.
Link to: The Plaza Wikipedia   Link to: The Plaza Website
The Union Plaza a month after opening (Las Vegas), 1971 (Now the Plaza)

1973 - Las Vegas, NV.   On July 2, 1973, Shelby and Claudine Williams, former owners of the Silver Slipper Casino, opened the Holiday Casino, a small riverboat-themed casino in front of the Holiday Inn Las Vegas Center Strip. In 1979, Holiday Inn bought a 40% share of the casino's parent company, Riverboat, Inc. By 1982, the hotel had grown to over 1,000 rooms making it the largest in the chain. Holiday Inn bought out the remaining 60% in 1983. .
Link to: Holiday Hotel Casino Wikipedia

1980 - Las Vegas NV.   The D Las Vegas Casino Hotel is a 34-story, 638-room hotel and casino in Downtown Las Vegas Nevada, owned and operated by Derek and Greg Stevens. The D is located at the eastern end of the Fremont Street Experience. It has a 42,000-square-foot casino, several restaurants, a business center, and a pool. The casino now has more than 1,000 slot machines and 22 table games located on two floors. It is the tallest building in downtown Las Vegas and the second-tallest inside the city limits, having been surpassed by Allure Las Vegas in 2007. As Fitzgeralds, it had a "luck of the Irish" theme, with shamrocks and a leprechaun. In fall 2012, The D completed a property-wide renovation and rebranding to replace the Irish theme with a more contemporary feel.
Link to: The D Website   Link to: The D Wikipedia

July 3rd
2014 - Thursday

1907 - South Burlington, VT.   Raymond A. Smith, one of the founders of Harold's Club in Reno, was born.

2003 - Atlantic City, NJ.   The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa is a hotel, casino, and spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States. It is owned by Marina District Development, a joint venture between Boyd Gaming and a MGM Resorts International. The casino hotel features 2,002 rooms and is the largest hotel in New Jersey. Borgata opened in July 2003 and is the top-grossing casino in Atlantic City.
Link to: Borgata Website   Link to: Borgata Wikipedia
$100 chip

July 4th
2014 - Friday

1902 - Grodno Russian Empire .   known as the "Mob's Accountant", was a major organized crime figure who, along with his associate Charles "Lucky" Luciano, was instrumental in the development of the "National Crime Syndicate" in the United States. Lansky developed a gambling empire which stretched across the world. He was said to own points (percentages) in casinos in Las Vegas, Cuba, The Bahamas and London. Although a member of the Jewish Mob, Lansky undoubtedly had strong influence with the Italian Mafia and played a large role in the consolidation of the criminal underworld (although the full extent of this role has been the subject of some debate, as he himself denied many of the accusations against him). Despite all the reports, Lansky was never found guilty of anything more serious than illegal gambling.
Link to: Meyer Lansky Documentary   Link to: Meyer Lansky Wikipedia

1931 - Reno, NV.   The Reno Club opened at 242 North Virginia Street, and introduced the new game of tango to the area. In 1934 the property's lease-holder changed, and the club was renamed the Heart Tango Club. The original owners of the Reno Club moved their club to 232 North Virginia Street, where they ran it until 1942. Bill Harrah then took over the lease, and ran the club until 1948.
The Reno Club is on the left in this 1937 view of Virginia Street

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