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Ante Up!

Manis Collection

Bingo has always been a popular Las Vegas tradition, though it has not always has that name. In the 1930s, it was often called tango. The game of "keno" as played then was more akin to bingo than today's keno.

The modern keno was called "race horse keno" and was based on the Chinese pakapu or white pigeon ticket lottery.

Sal Sagev
Manis Collection

By the end of the 1930s, Fremont Street was famous for its gambling clubs. To the left, the Hotel Sal Sagev, originally called the Hotel Nevada, began operation in 1906; it later expanded to include more rooms and a casino.

Today called the Golden Gate, it is the city's oldest continuously-operating hotel.

Manis Collection

By 1948, downtown Las Vegas was a neon-lit oasis of gambling halls. The Golden Nugget's sign burned the brightest, perhaps, but three years later Vegas Vic, a waving cowboy, would tower above the Pioneer and give downtown an enduring icon.

The Eldorado would soon be bought by Benny Binion, who would rename it the Horseshoe and create one of gaming's most famous names.

El Cortez Single Item Accessions
Opened in 1942, the El Cortez was for a time downtown Las Vegas's major resort. Though it has expanded considerably from its original 90 rooms, the casino building itself still looks much the same, making it one of the few survivors from the earliest years of modern Nevada Gaming.

Billie Mae Polson Collection

The Golden Nugget, which former LAPD vice commander Guy McAfee opened in 1946, was a tiny gambling hall when it first opened, but later became downtown Las Vegas's biggest resort.



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Last modified Monday, 30-Aug-2010 20:45:54 UTC