How Laughlin, Nevada Became a Casino Town

To some today, it is considered to be old Las Vegas. The city of Laughlin, Nevada is a 90-minute car drive away from the Las Vegas Strip and the Entertainment Capital of World. Some people enjoy Laughlin because they consider it to be the place to get a free hotel room or other similar deal that only exists to high rollers today in Las Vegas or someone willing to give a resort enough action.

To understand Laughlin, you have to go back to who the city is named after. Don Laughlin is a gaming businessman and rancher. After a run in Vegas in the late 1950s with the 101 Club which he then sold in the mid-1960s, his next adventure would be opening a casino joint called Riverside in Laughlin, Nevada in 1966. In a few years, Riverside was entertaining its hotel residents with gaming and all you could eat 98 cent chicken dinners.

According to legend, a postal work asked Don Laughlin what the city’s postal office should be called. Laughlin was chosen because the postal worker and Laughlin were both of Irish heritage. In its history, the Riverside Casino went from an original 8 rooms all the way up to 1405 rooms with six different renovations over a 52 year period.  

Beyond the Riverside Casino, today the city of Laughlin has many other resorts. Those include the Golden Nugget Laughlin, Aquarius, Avi Resort, Casino, Tropicana Laughlin, Harrah’s Laughlin, Laughlin River Lodge, Edgewater Hotel and Casino, Colorado Belle and Pioneer Hotel and Gambling Hall which no longer has gaming.

To those chip collectors who may have never collected Laughlin chips, perhaps you may be interested in some of our chips from Laughlin casinos you can see below. You can purchase each of them by clicking the picture of each chip.







Rare chip of the week:

This $5 chip from Lady Luck is from the 1970s. Not an easy find. If you are interested, send us an email to or call us at 702-362-8767. The price for the chip is $300.


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