The Brown Derby Casino first opened, in the predominately African-American North West Side of Las Vegas, in 1944. Although it shared a name with the famous Brown Derby restaurants in Los Angeles and Hollywood there was no similarity or relationship between the two. In the days before the desegregation of Las Vegas, African-Americans were not welcome as guests in the casinos of downtown Las Vegas and the fledgling Strip. Most of the African-Americans who worked in the very casinos that they were not allowed to patronize lived in the North-West part of Las Vegas and many clubs and casinos sprung up to service the African-American community, the Brown Derby being one of those clubs.
Initially, the Brown Derby was licensed for slots and table games. In 1944 the Brown Derby was badly damaged during a riot that left one African-American serviceman dead and many other people injured. The Brown Derby was repaired and continued to operate until it closed in 1947. Three years later on Christmas Eve 1950, the Brown Derby reopened and this incarnation of the Brown Derby lasted until 1973. Six years after the second closing of the Brown Derby it was resurrected as the New Brown Derby. The New Brown Derby lasted for four years, closing in 1983.
By the time the New Brown Derby finally closed its doors Las Vegas had been desegregated for twenty years and African-Americans were welcomed with open arms into the casinos of Las Vegas.
Brown Derby Chips
Chips from the Brown Derby are a unique addition to any collection of Las Vegas Casino Chips.
The New Brown Derby