Raymond I. Smith

Harolds Club Roaring Camp Gun Collection

Roaring Camp was a specific room in Harolds Club, but it was more than that: It was the name of general manager Raymond I. "Pappy" Smith's floating tribute to antique guns, a massive collection of weapons displayed throughout much of the casino.

Harolds Club Innovations

Harolds Club in Reno was the first modern casino in Nevada. Although it struggled financially following its opening in 1935, it soon began to flourish, due in large part to several innovations that changed the nature of the state's relatively new business of legalized gambling.

Harolds Club

On his twenty-fifth birthday, February 23, 1935, Harold Smith Sr. opened a tiny gambling club in Reno, Nevada. He had come to “the biggest little city” because California was cracking down on the carnival games his family ran in the Bay Area, and in 1931 Nevada had legalized gambling. Smith called his place “Harold's Club”—with an apostrophe—and it was to become one of the most famous gambling place of its day and one of the first modern casinos.

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