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When the gold-veins of Tonopah and Goldfield ran out, the casino owners moved to Reno, where even greater riches awaited. Together, a group of four men (Nick Abelman, Bill Graham, Jim McKay, George Wingfield) took over Reno's casinos and held sway over the town for the next three decades. Together, they administered policy, collected juice, ran politicians, and owned the red-light district and most of the town's casinos. When that wasn't enough they took over the banks and laundered money for crooks like “Pretty Boy” Floyd, Alvin Karpis, and Ma Barker's boys, and offered safety to “Baby Face” Nelson. It was a good gig.
The Reno Four dictated policy all over northern Nevada, taking special care of Reno and Lake Tahoe casinos up until the late 1950's. Their influence made Reno before Bill Harrah or “Pappy” Smith ever arrived, needing an introduction and permission to build their own casinos, Harold's Club and Harrah's.
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By Philip B. Galbraith on 06-01-17
A Good Book But At Times Confusing And Poorly Read
This incomplete telling of Reno's gambling history is interesting and full of great information for the Nevada Historian. HOWEVER the Reading of the book, while smooth and well paced, is ruined by the constant flow mispronounced names and places. It is quite distracting to hear words like Nevada, Washoe, Ely, Cal-Neva and even Placerville butchered by the reader, along with other names I haven't listed here.
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