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Author Topic: How Baccarat Came To Vegas......  (Read 991 times)

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Offline alrelax

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How Baccarat Came To Vegas......
« on: October 19, 2014, 02:28:12 pm »
Within a post of the board--someone touched upon the game of Baccarat coming to Vegas from Cuba to the Sands Casino and Resort.  Well true and as the say-"Here's the rest of the story"........

I remember reading about that in the book, 'Fly on the Wall' by Dick Odessky.  Great book on history of Vegas and pretty easy reading for most.  Highly recommend it.  (however, there is no game strategy and systems to beat all the games so you might not be interested!)

Credit for the following to the author as cited above.

....."Baccarat and its direct ancestor chemin de fer were unknown in Las Vegas until 1953, when a Broadway actress made her nightclub debut at the Sands Hotel shortly after it opened.  A world traveler and gambler who'd fallen in love with baccarat in European casinos, Tallulah Bankhead was upset when she couldn't find the game offered anywhere in Las Vegas.

Between and after her shows at the Sands, she'd usually walk next door to Luigi's Restaurant to relax,  There was only problem: Luigi's had no casino.  Tallulah continuously badgered Luigi to open a few tables at which she could play--especially a baccarat table. 

When Talullah was angry, the world knew about it.  Her voice could be best described as a loud rusty foghorn.  Luigi and his family determined that it would be easier to bring the game and go into the gambling business than to offend the first lady of Broadway and her many friends, who had also become excellent customers.  Back then, about all it took to get a gambling license was filling out some forms and presenting a couple of people in town who would vouch for your honesty.

Thus, when Talullah returned for her repeat appearance at the Sands later in the year, a baccarat table had been installed in Luigi's lounge area.  True to her word, Talulluh played there, at very high stakes, every night.  Her fans and admires took to the game as well.

One of Bankhead's closest friends was actress Marlene Dietrich, who lived in Beverly Hill's and came to Las Vegas during Bankhead's appearances. (She eventually signed her own contract to headline in the resort showrooms.)  Dietrich, too, was a baccarat player.  Both women were at the height of their fame and Luigi's suddenly became the favorite watering hole for many high rollers, who enjoyed being in the company of the two famous actresses.

The Sands, whose bodies were always alert for an emerging high-roller trend, opened its own baccarat table.  As operators of the first casino to deal the game, the bosses forever patted themselves on the back for "discovering" it.".......................
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