Vegas Before Vegas

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Like casino history? Top O' Hill casino in Arlington Texas is considered the "Vegas before Vegas."

This underground casino would clear $250,000-$500,000 per weekend in the 1930s and 40s and had customers such as Frank Sinatra, Bonnie and Clyde, and Howard Hughes. It is also where Benny Binion, founder of Horseshoe Casinos, gained much of the experience (and bankroll) that would be so critical to build his legitimate casino business empire when he moved to Las Vegas. 

There is so much history hidden in this little gem in the heart of Texas we can only scratch the surface of the very thorough tour of the casino and its history. Check out some of the pictures below Craig and Cale took during the tour. 




One of the original roulette wheels from Top O' Hill casino. The wheels were on murphy bed style tables that would flip up into the wall during a raid by the police. 




The original chairs and tables from inside the casino, lights above the tables would project blackjack and other gaming table layouts on the tables. During a raid all the dealer had to do was turn out the lights and it becomes an ordinary dining table again. 




One of the MANY escape tunnels exiting from the casino out to various parts of the casino grounds. This particular tunnel lead out near the terrace visible in the header image of this blog. 




Wheelbarrow used to carry silver bars, likely the one used to carry the bars to Binion's car before heading to Vegas.




Originally an outdoor pool with high dives, this pool was used for training by boxing greats like Jack Dempsey. 




Do yourself a favor and check out Top O' Hill Terrace if you are ever in Dallas area. Vicky gives a fantastic tour.