1956 The gambling licensees of the Dunes and Silver Slipper casinos applied to restart bingo on the premises, but the Nevada Gaming Commission denied their request, stating that the return of the game to the Las Vegas Strip would be detrimental to the area. This was because in prior years when bingo had been permitted, the competition had gotten out of hand and the ample prize money had drawn so many people, it had created traffic problems.
1946 Some Las Vegas, Nevada casinos handed out women’s nylons as slot machine and tango game* prizes. When the city’s board of commissioners found out, they banned it, threatening repeat offenders with losing their gambling license. It wasn’t the hosiery the officials took offense to; it was the casinos offering merchandise to encourage the playing of traditional games of chance. “We are endeavoring to maintain gaming on a high plane and feel bound to discourage and eliminate any practice which may impugn the dignity of our gaming establishments,” they said (Nevada State Journal, Oct. 12, 1946). * Tango is similar to bingo and keno
1955-1966 Harry Chon, licensed operator of the gambling operations at the Old Cathay Club* in Reno, Nevada, found himself in an uncomfortable spot, under pressure from two parties, in 1956. The story begins about a year earlier, when two other men, Horace Fong and his godfather, Moon Wah, applied unsuccessfully for a gambling license for the same property. Of the two, only Wah had casino experience, and he’d been convicted recently of tax evasion in California. Soon after, Fong re-applied — this time with Chon named as the co-licensee — but to no avail because the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) deemed Fong unsuitable, likely due to his relationship with Wah. Then Chon alone sought and was granted a gambling license to lease space from Fong and run a casino in it. Fong operated the other entities on the property, a restaurant and bar. Rumblings Then Temblor In spring 1957, the NGCB heard rumors that individuals other than Chon were running the gambling at the Old Cathay. It was verboten to change casino interests without approval first from gaming regulators, so agents investigated. Chon confided in them he’d hired a man named Fred Down to manage the casino, but Down […]