Tuesday, October 15, 6 PM at Churchill County Museum
Harold’s Club was not the first nor the oldest casino in Reno. In 1935, the Smith Family opened a small, hole-in-the-wall small gaming establishment at 136 North Virginia St. This booming establishment operated until selling in 1970. The Smith family’s place in Nevada history started with a focus on building a friendly, honest shop. This small casino put Reno on the destination map coming up with a brilliant marketing sign campaign: “Harold’s Club or Bust” Reno Nevada. Harold’s Club was the first to employ women dealers and the first to offer full-ride scholarships for college, selecting a student from every single high school in the state. The leaders of this casino launched a full-blown effort to protect the gaming industry from unsavory operators. They pushed for the Gaming Control Board and met success in1955. After that, they were instrumental in creating the gaming commission in 1959. In 1959, Harold’s Club was the “largest casino in the World.” After selling, the family remained involved in the community and incredibly proud Nevadans.