Casino Gaming History and News

Las Vegas History Series: El Cortez Hotel and Casino

Las Vegas History Series: El Cortez Hotel and Casino

This week, we are going to take you again into the history of Downtown Las Vegas and look into another casino and hotel property tied to Jackie Gaughan who was one of the pioneers of the city’s casinos. Unlike many of the other past Las Vegas hotels and casinos that have come and gone, the El Cortez is still a place one can visit when they are in the Entertainment Capital of the World.

It was opened in 1941. In 2013 it was put on the National Register of Historic Places. Before the era of Jackie Gaughan owning it in the 1960s, it was originally constructed by a duo of Marion Hicks and J.C. Grayson for a price of just under $250,000. In 1945, Bugsy Siegel and a group of partners bought the El Cortez for $600,0000. But in 1946, John Kell Houssels, Sr, the original person who opened El Cortez, acquired it back from the world of organized crime. In 1952, there was a grand opening after the property added some new decorations. The resort is also credited with having the first maitre ‘d in 1955. Her name was Pat Gallagher.

Moving ahead, when the casino legend Jackie Gaughan acquired El Cortez in the 60s for four million dollars from John Kell Houssels, he ended up expanding the hotel and casino with a 15 story tower and additional rooms which were completed in the 1980s. Mr. Gaughan was known to live in the El Cortez Tower Penthouse and was on the casino floor almost every day. Even after Jackie sold the casino in 2008 to Kenny Epstein, he continued to live at the casino and play poker there to the day he passed away.  

Additionally, in 2009, a 64 cabana suites were completed that are right across the street from the hotel. Today, the resort’s website reports that they have just finished a remodeling job of their Premium Tower Rooms. In 2016, the hotel and casino celebrated its 75th anniversary. If you’re Downtown and on the Fremont Street Experience, its worth going over to El Cortez to see some of the history. A restaurant by the name of Siegel’s 1941 after Bugsy Siegel and the year the El Cortez opened, has a variety of things on its menu at affordable prices. Most things are $15 or less.

Below you can find our collection of El Cortez chips for sale. You can purchase each one clicking the picture. We have just added some of these to our website this week:

   

     

       

      

         

  

     

    

Below we have 2 decks of this version of El Cortez that are used but uncut decks. They are $10 each. Send me an email to marketing@spinettis.com if you want one of these or both or call us at 702-362-8767.

We also sell some other El Cortez decks for $1.25 you can buy clicking the picture below: 

 

New Chips from California:

We have just added these two chips from the Regency California Casino to our website. You can buy either click the picture below:

    

WSOP Decks on Sale Reminder:

Through December 31st we are giving people a chance to get our individual 2016 and 2017 WSOP decks for a discounted price. You can find out all the information below.

2016 WSOP Decks:

You can get our 2016 WSOP decks in red or black for $3.00 each down from $4.95 each. Enter the promo code wsop2016 at checkout to get the discount. Click the picture below to purchase.

 

2017 WSOP Decks:

You can get our 2017 WSOP decks in red or black for $4.00 each down from $5.95. Enter promo code wsop2017 at checkout to get the discount. Click the picture below to purchase:

Las Vegas History Series: Union Plaza

Las Vegas History Series: Union Plaza

This week, Las Vegas added something new to the Downtown Las Vegas experience. In conjunction with the Plaza Hotel and Casino, there was an unveiling of an equestrian center that will bring back some of that western culture. There will be horses, bulls, and cows all within minutes of the Fremont Street Experience. The name of the new venue is called the Core Arena.

With the new addition to the Plaza, today we look back at the history of Union Plaza and the Plaza in this latest edition of our Las Vegas History Series.

Prior to the construction of the Union Plaza Hotel and Casino, the area was actually used for the first Las Vegas train station. That was at the beginning of the 1900s. A second train station that was more streamline was created in the 1940s. In 1970, the train station would end up getting demolished and the Union Plaza Hotel would begin its location right across the street from the Fremont Street Experience.

Sam Boyd, Jackie Gaughan, Frank Scott, and Howard Cannon were the original owners of Union Plaza. The name of the casino and resort pays tribute to the Union Pacific Railroad that was there before the hotel stood tall.  According to the Review-Journal, it was the first casino in downtown to have female dealers.

Up until 1997, Amtrak’s nearby train route Desert Wind, passengers would purchase their tickets at this casino. It was the only resort in America where one could buy a train ticket inside a casino.

In the early 1990s, after Jackie Gaughan acquired full control of Union Plaza, he would end up changing the name of the resort. Today, the Plaza is known for its steakhouse that is connected to former mayor Oscar Goodman and its pizza place downstairs among other things. From a famous scene in the movie Casino to being seen in an Iggy Azela music video, the Plaza has a lot of history, but it all started with the Union Plaza in 1971. Please find below all our chips from Union Plaza. You can purchase each clicking the picture.

    

      

   

     

      

    

    

  

  

       

  

The 2019 American Casino Guide is now out. You can buy it clicking the picture below: 

 

New Chips and Cards on Spinettis Website

New Chips and Cards on Spinettis Website

We had a fun time over the last week selling a variety of different chip racks to you guys. With that sale, we added some new chips to the website that collectors may be interested in on the individual basis. You can see them below and click each picture to purchase each chip.

Joker’s Wild Casino:

     

P and G Casino:

Parlay Club:

   

Horseshoe Gardena Tournament:

Six Card Charlies:

Starbust Paulson Chip:

We have expanded our deal of the century by adding a few other casinos besides Stratosphere to the ultimate 144 deck case sale. You can now get a case of 144 used casino decks from Arizona Charlie’s, Club Fortune, Ellis Island, and Sunset Station. You can purchase each of them below clicking the picture.

Arizona Charlie's and Club Fortune:

      

Ellis Island and Sunset Station:

    

Finally, for those who are fans of affordable plastic playing cards, we have slashed our turbo bridge poker decks in half. You can now get a two-deck setup for $9.00. Click the picture below of either two deck setup to purchase.

Ebay:

We have a really cool $100 Caesars Palace chip of the legendary George Burns up for sale on Ebay. You can purchase clicking the picture below:

A Week of Gifts and Discounts at Spinettis in Our Las Vegas Store

A Week of Gifts and Discounts at Spinettis in Our Las Vegas Store

Starting this coming Monday November 19th to the following Monday November 26th, Spinettis Gaming Supplies will become a place you will want to visit if you are based here in Las Vegas, are coming for a vacation or make your way over here, we are going to have a week of discounts and free casino and gaming gifts to give out.

We are going to have a prize wheel in store that customers will be able to win free gifts on. We are giving away card deck cases, bricks of casino decks, bags of home game chips, items from our $1 item section and 5, 10 and even 15 percent off discounts that can be used the same day in store towards anything.

Unlike other retail stores who have one day or one weekend of sales, we are going to give you an entire week to take advantage of all those different specials. This coming week, we are also going to be offering a variety of different specials online. So you can keep an eye on your email as we will be sending out numerous ones. If you are in Vegas or planning to be here during the holiday season, we look forward to seeing you.

Stocking Stuffer Suggestions:

For those who will not be here in Las Vegas, here are a few suggestions of gifts that could be given to the gaming enthusiast in your life or someone you know who would appreciate it.

One: A $1 chip from a variety of Las Vegas casinos and others outside Vegas can absolutely make a great gift. Many of these chips are $3 or $5 from places including Bellagio, Caesars Palace, etc. Click the picture below and look through our $1 chip section to buy a nice little gift.

Two: We have a variety of different key rings and key chains that have Las Vegas and gaming related themes on them you can purchase below clicking the picture.

 

Three: From Bellagio to Caesars to Wynn and everything else in between, you could also give them a deck of playing cards. Look through our section of playing cards clicking the picture below:

 

Four: Or you could get a fantasy chip that tributes a casino of the past such as the Stardust or Silver Slipper for $3. Click the picture below to see those and purchase.

 

Five: Finally, a great gift for a poker player is our custom card guard which you can have different designs/pictures/artwork on both sides. You can click the picture below for more information to purchase:

Reno Casino History: Monte Carlo and Fitzgerald’s Reno

Reno Casino History: Monte Carlo and Fitzgerald’s Reno

 

In the past year, we have focused on casinos in Lake Tahoe and Laughlin besides Las Vegas. This week, we have decided to focus on some of the gaming properties in Reno, Nevada. Located on the other side of the state, Reno is called the biggest little city in the world.

 Before the well known Las Vegas casino Monte Carlo opened back in the 1990s, there was a Monte Carlo in Reno, Nevada that opened in 1974 and closed in 1995. Today, the Monte Carlo resort is called Diamond Casino. It is still open to this day. The Monte Carlo Casino was adjacent to a Holiday Inn hotel. Like many casinos of the past and today, free drink tickets existed for gamblers who visited the property. Gambling tickets for craps, keno, and nickels to play slots were also offered. You could present a $2 coupon at a blackjack table and win back $3 if your bet wins.

Though not related but a fun fact, there is actually a Monte Carlo Motel across the street from Circus Circus Reno which has been opened since 1978. The Circus exists in Reno too. Not just Las Vegas.

Below you can find the chips we have from Monte Carlo in Reno, Nevada below:

   

    

     

      

         

Monte Carlo Reno 300 chip set:

We have put together a brand new chip set from the Monte Carlo casino in Reno. You will receive 100 $1 chips, 100 $5 chips and 100 $25 chips. Please take note that the $1 and $5 chips are cancelled on one side. These chips are all mint condition and this set would look great for someone who has a vintage gaming room among other places. The price for the chip set is $449. If you are interested, click below to purchase the set.

 

Fitzgerald’s Reno:

It was in the middle of the 1970s that Lincoln Fitzgerald decided he wanted to construct another resort in Reno called Fitzerald’s Reno. Not be confused with the Fitzgerald’s in Las Vegas which came later, Fitzgerald’s Reno was a 16 story resort with well over 300 rooms. The price of the resort cost 16 million dollars back in the 1970s.

After the passing of Lincoln Fitzgerald, his wife sold off Fitzgerald’s Reno to Lincoln Management company for around 26 million dollars. In the Fitzgerald’s Gaming catalog of resorts, the casino was the last of the properties to be sold off after the company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy back in 2000. In 2007, the resort became once again under private ownership and would end up closing in 2010. Today, it is a Whitney Peak Hotel Resort.

Below you can find our variety of chips from Fitzgerald’s Reno you can purchase clicking each picture:

  

   

   

  

We hope you enjoyed a little history of Reno casino resorts.

A great gift for the casino token collectors is this pricing and guidebook by author Dan Wickett. It can be purchased at the link: 

Reno Casino History: Monte Carlo and Fitzgerald’s Reno

Reno Casino History: Monte Carlo and Fitzgerald’s Reno

 

In the past year, we have focused on casinos in Lake Tahoe and Laughlin besides Las Vegas. This week, we have decided to focus on some of the gaming properties in Reno, Nevada. Located on the other side of the state, Reno is called the biggest little city in the world.

 Before the well known Las Vegas casino Monte Carlo opened back in the 1990s, there was a Monte Carlo in Reno, Nevada that opened in 1974 and closed in 1995. Today, the Monte Carlo resort is called Diamond Casino. It is still open to this day. The Monte Carlo Casino was adjacent to a Holiday Inn hotel. Like many casinos of the past and today, free drink tickets existed for gamblers who visited the property. Gambling tickets for craps, keno, and nickels to play slots were also offered. You could present a $2 coupon at a blackjack table and win back $3 if your bet wins.

Though not related but a fun fact, there is actually a Monte Carlo Motel across the street from Circus Circus Reno which has been opened since 1978. The Circus exists in Reno too. Not just Las Vegas.

Below you can find the chips we have from Monte Carlo in Reno, Nevada below:

   

    

     

      

         

Monte Carlo Reno 300 chip set:

We have put together a brand new chip set from the Monte Carlo casino in Reno. You will receive 100 $1 chips, 100 $5 chips and 100 $25 chips. Please take note that the $1 and $5 chips are cancelled on one side. These chips are all mint condition and this set would look great for someone who has a vintage gaming room among other places. The price for the chip set is $449. If you are interested, click below to purchase the set.

 

Fitzgerald’s Reno:

It was in the middle of the 1970s that Lincoln Fitzgerald decided he wanted to construct another resort in Reno called Fitzerald’s Reno. Not be confused with the Fitzgerald’s in Las Vegas which came later, Fitzgerald’s Reno was a 16 story resort with well over 300 rooms. The price of the resort cost 16 million dollars back in the 1970s.

After the passing of Lincoln Fitzgerald, his wife sold off Fitzgerald’s Reno to Lincoln Management company for around 26 million dollars. In the Fitzgerald’s Gaming catalog of resorts, the casino was the last of the properties to be sold off after the company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy back in 2000. In 2007, the resort became once again under private ownership and would end up closing in 2010. Today, it is a Whitney Peak Hotel Resort.

Below you can find our variety of chips from Fitzgerald’s Reno you can purchase clicking each picture:

  

   

   

  

We hope you enjoyed a little history of Reno casino resorts.

A great gift for the casino token collectors is this pricing and guidebook by author Dan Wickett. It can be purchased at the link: 

Stocking Stuffers and Gifts For Vegas/Gaming Enthusiasts

Stocking Stuffers and Gifts For Vegas/Gaming Enthusiasts

As we turn the pages to November, people are already in the shopping mode. So we at Spinettis Gaming Supplies wanted to give you a chance to buy some great stocking stuffers and gaming gifts for those who are fans of Vegas and gaming enthusiasts. We break it down into different categories.

Vegas fans: New Items for the holidays.

Nothing says happy holidays like a calendar for the new year. Our 2019/2020 Las Vegas calendar has some great pictures of the city. Two years for $5 is the best calendar price you will see anywhere. You can purchase the calendar clicking the picture below:

This secure credit card wallet holder is a great gift for an affordable price of $4.95 for someone who does not want to carry a wallet around for different occasions. You can purchase clicking the picture below:

And nothing says what a nice looking great gift more than our Las Vegas money clips. Whether it is the one for $4.95 or $5.95, either is a great choice.

     

If you are interested in buying volume, nothing is better priced than our puzzle cup mug for $1. Buy a handful of these and put them in gift bags. Buy clicking the photo below:

And why not look through our keychain section that has a variety of items for $2.00 and $3.00. Clicking the picture below will take you to the section.

Gifts for a poker player:

Many poker plays are fans of the World Series of Poker. Our 2017 used tournament decks will make a great addition to any stocking. You can buy the set of two, one red and one black for $10

Or you can buy a red or black deck for $5.95 individually.

Our dealer button and lammer set gives you everything you need to start your basic poker game for a total of $5.50

 

Or you could always get the poker fan in your life a custom card guard:

Gifts for the blackjack player:

Our Stardust uncut decks have always been a very popular discussion topic when people come into the store. Though they are very collectible, taking them out for a few shuffles could be fun as well. For $10, you will give a great gift from one of the most historic Las Vegas resorts.

 

And for those who are fans of Dunes, another famous Las Vegas casino, we just got in a limited supply of these decks in different styles. Click the picture below to purchase the one you want to order for $10:

Perhaps you have a blackjack player who likes brand new sealed casino decks. You can’t go wrong with either Hard Rock Las Vegas decks for $4 or Sahara decks for $3.00. The Hard Rock Las Vegas name will be changing soon. So get the decks while they are still out there.

     

Or if you just have someone who loves to play the game of blackjack, our home blackjack set for $15 makes for a great gift. This is obviously not a stocking stuffer, but it can be bought clicking the picture below.

Gifts for the craps player:

We have a wide selection of pairs of dice from a variety of casinos. Below I have linked to that section where you can see them all clicking the picture.

If you know someone with a craps table, a dice boat for $15 in either wood or acrylic style might make a great choice. You can purchase below either clicking the photo:

    

Or you could get them a new on/off puck for $5:

Gifts for the roulette player:

We have a variety of different roulette markers for under $10. You can see all of them clicking the picture below:

For the Magician in your life:

Don’t forget that we have a variety of Copag magic cards from their new line for the magicians out there. You can click the picture below to see them all and buy:

Circus Circus Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Circus Circus Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Unless you are in Las Vegas or follow the history of the town closely, you may not have realized that Circus Circus just recently celebrated its 50th anniversary last week. Called by some today as a cash cow, the resort is for families on a budget. It is one of the most affordable options for someone staying on the Las Vegas Strip.

Today, one of the big appeals of Circus Circus is the Adventuredome. It’s an indoor amusement park that includes over 20 rides. In the past, this month, the name of the amusement park would be changed in the month of October to Fright Dome. The original name before it was called the Adventuredome was the Grand Slam Canyon.

For people who want to go back to the past on the food side, arguably the biggest food draw of Circus Circus is The Steakhouse. It has been a longstanding steak restaurant on the Vegas Strip for over 30 years.

Five Pop Culture Significant Moments for Circus Circus

One: It was featured in the James Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever

Two: Featured in the movie Honey, I Blew Up the Kid

Three: Featured in the film Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

Four: In the late 1970s/early 1980s show Vega$, the main character lives in a converted warehouse next to Circus Circus. The character is played by actor Robert Urich.

Five: And famous writer/author Hunter S. Thompson wrote about the place in his 1970s journalist novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

In honor of Circus Circus’s 50th anniversary, we’re showing you all our chips and cards from Circus Circus you can purchase below:

    

      

   

  

  

   

Folding leg poker table with dealer tray back in stock:

Over the last few months, we’ve gotten numerous inquiries on when our folding leg poker table with dealer tray would be in stock. We have them now back in stock. If you need one, you can buy it clicking the picture below or come to see us in person and pick it up yourself. The price is $369.

Ultimate gift for poker fans:

Looking back at the history of the World Series of Poker, this 20 chip set $2.50 Binions Horseshoe World Series of Poker Gallery of Champions Chips would make the ultimate holiday gift. You can click the picture below to buy: 

 

 

Our Brothel Chips: RIP Dennis Hof

Our Brothel Chips: RIP Dennis Hof

This week in Nevada, one of the biggest stories was the passing of brothel owner Dennis Hof. To many across the country and world, he was the face of the American brothel industry. This week we have decided to look back at some of the history of brothels in Nevada and show you all of our fantasy brothel chips that pay tribute to these establishments.

In 1971, the Mustang Ranch would become the first brothel to be licensed in the state of Nevada. What would follow later is 10 of the 17 counties in Nevada allowing legal brothels to operate. The Mustang Ranch became the most profitable brothel when it came to revenue and they outdid everyone else combined at that time in the 1970s.

Brothels were known to be in existence since the mining days of the 1800s, but the Mustang Ranch was the first one again to be licensed. Each country that allows brothels in Nevada has different licensing requirements. Licensing fees to operate can be anywhere between $100,000 to $200,000. Workers are required to register with the county sheriff and there are weekly checkups. And any county with more than 700,000 people in Nevada cannot have a licensed brothel.

As for the Mustang Ranch, it closed in 1999 when the federal government took it over due to tax fraud and other crimes.  Its owner Joe Conforte fled to Brazil in 1991 to avoid charges and reportedly still lives there to this day. In 2010, a movie titled Love Ranch was made about the Mustang Ranch. Actor Joe Pesci of Casino and Goodfellas fame played Joe Conforte.

Many adult men and women come into our store in Downtown Las Vegas and enjoy looking at our brothel chips and some of the funny adult appropriate sayings on them. Some end up take one or two and others end up taking an entire bunch of them. For a great humor gift for the upcoming holidays or just to collect a few, you can purchase each brothel chip clicking each picture below. The majority of our brothel chips cost $3 a piece. Please note some of these images of the chips may not be safe for work.

 

 

    

        

    

   

  

 

 

  

  

     

 

     

        

We also have a state one that tributes the brothels as well you can purchase below: 

 

 

Our Poker Chips for Home Game Use

Our Poker Chips for Home Game Use

We always like to talk about the different customers who visit Spinettis. One of those groups of people are our poker enthusiasts who come from all across the country and the entire world to our store here in Downtown Las Vegas to purchase poker supplies. Many of them end up taking hundreds of our home game poker chips back to their respective cities and countries.

So this week we are going to focus on all of our different kinds of home poker chips. There are a few different kinds of poker chips where some have denominations and others do not. The benefit of having poker chips that do not have denominations on them is you can use them both for tournament and cash games and change the amount value of each chip. Below you will see descriptions of each of our different types of chips and you can click on each picture to purchase.

Denomination Poker Chips:

Dunes Commemorative Chips: These are one of our most popular purchases because it pays tribute to the Las Vegas Strip Casino of the past Dunes. The chips actually look like the real ones that were used at the casino. Aside, many players come in after purchasing an original set and buy additional chips as they become popular with their home game pals. The chips are 9 grams. You can purchase any of our 10 different denominations clicking the picture below.

11.5 Gram High Roller Casino Poker Chip: Perhaps the thing that makes these chips special is the fact that they have the famous Las Vegas sign on them. These chips will make you remember your Las Vegas strip or the positive things you have about the city. You can click the picture below to purchase.

 

Coin Inlay Poker Chips Casino Las Vegas: More often than not you do not see the casinos use coin inlay chips anymore. This set pays tribute to earlier times when coin inlay chips were more common. A great 14 gram chip that stands out is what comes to mind and looks like something that looks very appealing to play with. You can purchase the chips clicking the picture below.

 

Ace King/Denomination Chips: Are you a fan of the card and suits? These gold hot stamped denomination chips are great for someone who would like a colorful chip game set with a lot going on. Each denomination has its own unique multicolored style. You can buy some below clicking the picture.

 

Desert Palace Casino Poker Chips: Though not a real place, these Desert Palace chips are also one of our popular choices among home game poker players and sometimes dealing school students who are looking for a hot stamped denomination chip. What’s great about the Desert Palace chips is there are denomination chips from 5 cents all the way up to 50,000. Purchase below clicking the picture.

 

Tournament NCV Chips: I like to call these our slick chip because the detail on them just stands out. These chips are perfect for any poker tournament you would like to hold. Not much more to say on these other than they are one of our other popular sellers. Their presentation says it all. They are 14 grams chips. You can buy them below clicking the picture.

 

Nevada Club 15 Gram Chips: If you are looking for something a little heavier, these chips are actually made of brass. These chips are very durable. Unlike our other clay composite chips, when you are playing with them, you will for sure get a different feeling and sound from them. Everyone has an acquired taste for their home poker chips and this very well may be the ones you want. Click the picture below to purchase:

 

Non denomination poker chips:

Double Dice poker Chips: Our most economical chip that we have. If you are just looking for the standard clay composite chip in numerous colors, this one will for sure do the trick. This is also a popular chip for our aspiring dealing school students. Clicking the picture below gets you these. They are 11.5 gram sized chips.

 

FAD Diamond Chips: These chips are great for both home game poker and roulette chips. As mentioned at the top, you can change the denominations to whatever you want. These 11.5 gram chip comes in eight different colors. Click below to purchase:

 

Suited Poker Chip:  You will find hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades on all of these 11.5 gram chips. A classic design that can be used for both home game and cash games. Purchase clicking the picture below:

 

 

Tri-Color 14g Ace / King Pro Poker Chips: People love being dealt pocket aces and pocket kings. These 14 gram chips are very colorful with hearts, clubs, spades and diamonds also on the chip as well. As noted, everyone has their preference, but these chips make a great selection. Click below to purchase:

 

A rare first edition Stardust $1 chip:

For the ultimate Stardust fan, the place opened in 1958 and this was the first one dollar chip on the tables. 60 years later, here it is for someone to purchase. Price is $2475. Send us an email to marketing@spinettis.com or give us a call at 702-362-8767 if you are interested.

A very cool Blackjack Layout:

This Royal 21 Blackjack layout from Silverton Casino in Las Vegas is in great shape and makes for a great addition to any gaming table. Price on this layout is $75. Send us an email to marketing@spinettis.com or give us a call at 702-362-8767 if interested.

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