Books and Reference Sites

There are many great resources that I use and enjoy in researching the history of gaming in Downtown Las Vegas and elsewhere.  Here are some of my favorites.


This list is strictly for information. Any commercial links are for your convenience only. 

I make no money and receive no compensation for any listings.

The Chip Rack
Click for more info on The Gaming Table
The Chip Rack is the leading source of information for collectors of Nevada casino chips. With its all new design, the 448 page book now has detailed descriptions of over 35,000 chips; house, roulette, baccarat, poker, commemorative and limited edition, making it the most comprehensive guide book available. Almost 1,000 Nevada casinos are listed.
The Gaming Table is the only worldwide reference to gaming establishments.  Many collectors find TGT to be an invaluable tool in identifying their mystery chips.  With over 30,000 worldwide listings of casinos as well as many addresses and dates of operation this is an invaluable resource.
Click for more info from Amazon
The King of Casinos: Willie Martello and The El Rey Club by Andy Martello
The unreal but TRUE story of the unknown casino that changed Las Vegas forever!
WARNING! Contains Nudity, Prostitution, Vintage Vegas, Celebrities, and (some) Mobsters!
After a horrific blaze destroyed Willie Martello’s El Rey Club in 1962, fifty years would pass before anyone knew of how that casino and one-time brothel influenced LAS VEGAS casinos, upset the mob, and inadvertently launched the career of Francis Ford Coppola.
Andy Martello's writing style is pleasantly conversational. He tells the story as though you were sitting in his living room, with a beer in hand, hearing stories and anecdotes told by a master story teller. Of course the book has all the requisite names, dates, and background history in it, but it's “sneaky” history. You don't realize just how much information is packed into it because of the flawlessly entertaining way it's written. Whether or not you have any interest in casinos, or southern Nevada history, or Willy Martello, or the mob, or brothels, or Las Vegas, you will still enjoy the book. I had never heard of Willy Martello before picking up this book and now I'm completely fascinated by his life and the wide range of characters Andy brought to life in the pages of his book. My only disappointment was when I reached the end of the book and there was nothing more to read. Let's get going on the sequel, Mr. Martello.
Beyond the Glimmering Lights by Trish Geran relates the struggles, pains, and victories of black residents and entertainers during the most racially unjust period in the history of Las Vegas. Told through the eyes of author and native Las Vegan Trish Geran, she narrates her Aunt Magnolia's life and times in Las Vegas, experiences that occurred from 1942 to 1960 and stories passed on by early settlers. While searching in her aunt's garden, Trish discovers the evidence that proves what she constantly heard while growing up in Las Vegas, that black people played a major role in the development of Las Vegas.
Fuller's Index Plus: A Compilation of State, County, and City Gaming Records 1927-2013 Paperback – November 30, 2015
by LLC LFB Enterprises (Author)
ISBN-10: 1530352037
ISBN-13: 978-1530352036
A comprehensive reference of all Nevada gambling establishments, their locations, dates of operation and games licensed from 1927-2013
Fuller's Index Plus is a monumental example of careful research into Nevada gaming covering the years from 1927 through 2013.  It is a must have resource for anyone researching gaming properties in Nevada. Thanks to Howard Hertz's painstaking work and Harvey Fuller's extensive note taking over many years, this resource is now available in one location.
I have transcribed part of the introduction below to more fully explain exactly what this valuable resource covers.
Fuller's Index of Nevada's Gaming Establishments
The first Index of Nevada’s Gaming Establishments was a compilation of Harvey J. Fuller's research done over a period of time spanning nearly twenty years. In 1991, Howard W. Herz compiled an index of live gaming establishments in Nevada using the information he extracted from Fuller's notes. This pioneering work included gambling houses offering live table games from 1931 to 1981. Wagon Wheel Saloon and Gaming Hall Inc., doing business as Harvey's Resort Hotel, published the index in 1991.
In 1994, before selling Harvey's Resort Hotel, the owners donated Fuller's original notes to the Special Collections at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where they are kept to this day.
The Compilation of State, County and City Records
This publication contains two listings. In the first section, we are releasing Fuller's index in its original form. The second section contains Fuller's index plus the listing of all gambling licenses issued in the State of Nevada from 1927 to 2013.
We have compiled this information using official state, county and city records that have survived since early 1920s. Besides using official licenses to compile the list of gaming establishments in Nevada, we have relied on evidences of gaming such as gambling chips, tokens, pictures and testimonials.
Captain History Blog
If you find interesting, then you will find Captain History exhilarating!
Captain History is Robert A. Stoldal, a journalist and independent curator and student of Nevada history who dives deep into Nevada history.
This site is about the 20th century history of the state of Nevada.
Having spent fifty-eight years of my life in the 20th Century, and 61 of years connected to Nevada, the site will be filled with my personal interests and observations, which I hope do not get in the way of the facts.
     Phacts.  And, as far as facts –   we will search and research topics with an eye towards stories that have not been told, as well as correcting the many published errors about our state’s history.  We will look for and correct errors, from nit-picks to important.  One other note about this site, it too has opportunities for improvement.  Look forward to corrections, comments and valuable criticism.
Photographs and post cards.  The foundation of Nevada’s history on this site, is done in part,  through the preservation and identification of the images on photographs and post cards including the,who, what, why, where and when of the images.
Creative Commons License by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at

This is a non-commercial, educational, hobby site. Images on this site are from our personal collection and from personal collections of fellow enthusiasts who have shared their scans with us.  Other images are noted by source with links to the original.  If you feel that any image used here has infringed upon fair use of an image you hold the copyright to, please contact us at the links above and it will be credited or removed at your request. 
Sources you might want to visit for more information include: 
Newspaper Archive   UNLV Digital Collection    UNLV Reno   Las Vegas Sun   
TCR numbers are used by express permission of SSS Publishing publishers of The Chip Rack.
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