Center for Gaming Research
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gambling at the El Rancho Vegas

The El Rancho Vegas's casino, while undersized by today's standards, was adequate for the needs of its day.  Although its two blackjack tables, roulette wheel, and craps table (four games, total) would barely fill out half of an average table games pit, its expert dealers kept the action going for nearly twenty years. 

The El Rancho Vegas also boasted seventy slot machines, again a paltry amount when compared to the Strip casinos of today, which usually contain more than two thousand slots.  These slot machines were not the linked progressive slots so popular today--they were no-nonsense, clunky machines that paid relatively small jackpots. 

Craps at the ERV
Patrons hope for the best at the El Rancho's lone craps table.

Nevada casinos in the 1940s and 1950s were substantially different from those of today.  Gambling in the El Rancho Vegas was undoubtedly a far more intimate experience than playing in major casinos today.  In the 1940s, Las Vegas was primarily a regional resort.  It was not until the 1950s that the city became a serious national vacation destination.  In 1959, the El Rancho Vegas's last full year in operation, the Las Vegas Convention Center opened, marking the city's transition to a convention destination.

Current observers may wonder how the El Rancho could survive with such a small casino.  For one, the rest of the resort was, too.  The El Rancho Vegas opened with 63 rooms and had only 220 at the time of its final conflagration.  Had the casino been rebuilt after the fire, it probably would have been outfitted with a much larger casino.  But the El Rancho's casino was more than adequate for the needs of the resort's guests during its years of operation.


ERV casino
An inspired corner of the El Rancho's casino.

The El Rancho Vegas's casino was a friendly place, where credit was happily extended to perspective patrons.  Once accepted into the El Rancho Vegas circle of trust, patrons were granted generous lines of credit.  

1000 big ones

Credit Card


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Last modified Thursday, 12-Feb-2009 13:27:08 PST