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The Gaming Hall of Fame

1991 Inductee

Don Laughlin

Don Laughlin

Industry Leader


Don Laughlin (b. 1931) was instrumental in developing the popular resort town that bears his name, Laughlin, Nevada.

After getting his start in punchboard and slot route operations--both then illegal--in his native Minnesota, Laughlin moved to Las Vegas in 1952. He found work in the legal gambling business there and two years later started his own slot parlor. He then sold that business and bought the 101 Club in North Las Vegas.

After selling the 101 in 1964, Laughlin looked around for a new opportunity. He found it two years later in the form of an eight-room motel and bar across the Colorado River from Bullhead City, Arizona.

Laughlin made the operation a success, gradually expanding it. In 1970, the postal service wanted to open a post office on the Nevada side of the Colorado and named the new town "Laughlin."

In the 1980s, Laughlin began to grow rapidly, as a host of casino companies from Golden Nugget to Circus Circus built riverfront casinos.

Today, Laughlin remains a top regional destination, and a testament to the imaginative risk-taking of Don Laughlin.

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Last modified Friday, 08-Apr-2022 11:31:07 PDT



This page last updated Friday, 08-Apr-2022 11:31:07 PDT .