Free Gaming Memorabilia Exhibits Downtown

If you enjoy Las Vegas gaming history and miss places like the Casino Legends Hall of Fame Museum and Las Vegas Historic Museum, you may be interested in the   free Las Vegas and casino memorabilia exhibits downtown at the El Cortez and the  Plaza.

The El Cortez has a small display by the Club Cortez desk. It is comprised of 3 cases with photos, chips, cards, dice, funbooks, coin buckets, mugs, menus, postcards … too many things to list.  It also has a nice trifold with  photos of the El Cortez over the years and  timeline with information about Jackie Gaughan’s casino career.

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Although  the display is small, it is very well designed and very informative.  It was created by the Museum of Gaming History, part of the Casino Chip & Gaming Token  Collectors Club.

The Plaza has 2 displays. There is a smaller display of sports, gaming and Rat Pack memorabilia on the second floor. It is out of the way,  off to  the side when you get to the top of the escalator  to go to   Oscar’s or the Bingo Hall. The area isn’t lit well and there isn’t any signage or information about the displays. It is next to a cigar counter. The  Rat Pack case includes some nice photos as well as vintage chips, cards, dice and matchbooks. It is not curated as well as the display at El Cortez, but it is still worth the trip if you are a Rat Pack fan.

They have a second display created by the Museum of Gaming History called “Union Plaza, Then and Now”. It was closed when I tried to visit it in March. There wasn’t any signage for it  and I couldn’t find anyone at the Plaza who knew anything about it.   Evidently it is open daily from 3pm to 11pm in the space   between the Omaha Lounge and Hash House A Go Go (confirmed by a phone call this morning). I had tried to  peek into that locked space during my visit,  thinking that might be it, with no luck.  If you have seen the exhibit in person, please let me know what you thought about it.
Since it wasn’t open when I was there, I couldn’t take any photos, but here are a few photos of the exhibit from the MoGH website.

museumofgaminghistory.org/images/plazaexhibit2.JPG

The Mob Museum also has a lot of good Las Vegas memorabilia, but that requires a paid admission with the standard adult price being $23.95 ($19.95 if purchased online). Locals, seniors ,military and teachers discounts are available.

2 thoughts on “Free Gaming Memorabilia Exhibits Downtown”

  1. Mark,

    Thank you for the coverage and comments regarding the Museum of Gaming History’s Tribute to Jackie Gaughan at the El Cortez.

    Please know that the Union Plaza, Then and Now Exhibit at the Plaza, is just as indepth, informative and professional as their counterpart at the El Cortez.

    As a curator of sorts for both Exhibits, it pleases me to see your commentary. Thank you.

    In addition to these 2 Exhibits, the Museum of Gaming History also has 2 other displays, albeit much smaller, at the NEON Museum and at the Mob Musem.

    We also have plans for 2 more, full size Exhibits, tentatively targeted for August and September of this year.

    Moreover, our parent organization will be conducting a 3-day Convention here in Las Vegas, at the South Point, 23 – 25 June. It is billed as the World’s Largest Casino Collectibles and Memorabilia Show. Much of it is open to the public, with FREE admission on Saturday the 25th.

    Please feel free to visit and ask for me!

    Jim

    1. Hi Jim!
      Thanks for the additional info.
      If I can make it out for the Convention, I’ll make sure to ask for you.
      I look forward to seeing the new exhibits.

      Take Care,
      Mark

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