Las Vegas History Series: The Dunes, Moulin Rouge and Life Magazine

To those who enjoy learning about early Las Vegas History, this week’s write up will be an interesting one for you. The year was 1955 and two brand new casinos/resorts had opened in Las Vegas. One of them was named Dunes and it would go on to be opened to 1993. The other place was called Moulin Rouge. In Las Vegas history, it is known for being the first integrated hotel in America. The Moulin Rouge though popular in its short period of time being open would close less than a year after opening.

What brings both of these casinos together is an article in Life Magazine from its June 20th, 1955 edition titled Gambling Town Pushes Its Luck. You can see the front cover of the magazine below.

The article talks about both the Dunes Hotel and Moulin Rouge recently opening in 1955. The Dunes was built for five million dollars at the time. The biggest question from the article was, had Vegas expanded beyond the demand? The answer to that question is an obvious no it hadn’t at the time and it still hasn’t to this day. What’s fascinating is with a variety of new hotel projects from The Drew to Resorts World, we are still asking this same question 63 years later as Vegas continues to expand with new casinos stating they will open in 2020. The article in Life Magazine is a great look into the past about the skepticism of Las Vegas’s staying power. However, what you will find inside are some of the most beautiful, vintage and historical pictures of Las Vegas in the 1950s you will ever see.

For example, the photo below of the beautiful female dancers at the Moulin Rouge. Up top, you can see some of the vintage resort signs including the Moulin Rouge, Sands, and the New Frontier lit up.

On another page, imagine what it would be like to gamble in either the Dunes or Moulin Rouge when it opened. The picture below shows patrons at the Moulin Rouge playing blackjack. The bottom picture shows people playing craps at the Dunes.

To those who like maps, another page ends up showing off the entire city of Las Vegas in 1955 where all the casinos and resorts are at the time.

Some of our readers know my name is Chris. I am the author of our weekly newsletter. I started working on a historical project and one of the items I decided to acquire was this Life Magazine. There are a few out there on the Internet. However, I admit I was blown away by all the pictures of Vegas in the 50s inside. If you are someone who truly loves Las Vegas history, it is no doubt worth having. That is the inspiration for this week’s newsletter.

Speaking of the Moulin Rouge, and Dunes, please find below some of our best chips for purchase including a one of a kind Dunes chip:

Error Chip From Dunes.

Below is a $100 black Dunes Denomination chip. However, on one side of the chip, there is a mess up. There is a misprint of a $500 denomination. You can see a picture below of both sides. We are selling the error chip for $400. Send us an email to or call us at 702-362-8767 to purchase.

Dunes Card Decks:

We also have a limited quantity of factory sealed red or blue Dunes Hotel and Casino card decks for sale for $25. You can purchase either clicking the picture below:

Here are some more of our favorite Dunes Chips from our collection you can purchase:

And here are our Dunes dice:

And here are our Moulin Rouge Chips for sale. We’ve added a few new ones to the site:


Ebay featured item of the week:

Check out this chip from the 1930s from Gerlach, Nevada you can bid on Ebay starting Sunday. It’s a 1932 chip from the Capooch Club. You can click on the picture of the chip to bid below:


Casino chipsGambling memorabiliaLas vegas history

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