Illegal Gambling Clubs of Toledo is researcher and casino memorabilia collector Terry Shaffer's look at over fifty-years of illegal casinos in the town of Toledo, Ohio. This big 8x11 book chronicles the opening and closing of some of the country's finest and most infamous casinos of all time - all of them being operated while local ordinance outlawed their very existence. The men who built them were tough, and the Purple Gang members that moved into the area from nearby Detroit, Michigan were as ruthless as any mobsters in history.
- Large 8x11 format
- Over 100 illustrations
- Authored by local Toledo resident highlighting fifteen years of research
- Some unnecessary photos are included
- Not much text and back story to the widespread illegal gaming in Toldeo
- Illegal Gambling Clubs of Toledo was first published in June 2012
- 146 pages - many, many photos
- Released by: Happy Chipper Publishing
Guide Review - 'Illegal Gambling Clubs of Toledo' by Terry Shaffer
'Illegal' provides a brief introduction to the gaming and vices found within the confines of the city limits of Toledo, Ohio and lists the author's background and interest in the clubs and the accessories like chips and dice that were used in the casinos.
Shaffer has been a collector of casino chips for nearly fifteen years, during which he segued from known clubs, to unknown clubs, to illegal clubs found right in his own backyard. Toledo, as well as other towns in Ohio, has a long history of well-appointed gaming establishments, but nobody ever took the time to compile any type of list of the actual clubs until now.
Shaffer's book is an easy-to-read 8x11 size, paperback, and supports nearly 150 pages of treasure for historians and collectors of casino memorabilia such as members of the CC and GTCC group.
Page after page provide an alphabetical listing of clubs with addresses, known owners, dates of operation, and many photos of the clubs while in operation and afterwards. I didn't really need a photo of a closed, Long John Silver's restaurant purporting to be at the exact address of a casino, but Mr. Shaffer is decidedly thorough. I can live with that.
The book also provides one of the most comprehensive listings ever published of Purple Gang members, along with their actual mug shots from the local police department.
The Chips, the Dice, the Place and Faces
More than anything, this book provides a chronicle of the clubs themselves, their locations, and their owners. That should be good for many collectors. For other historians, the book does provide chapters on how the clubs stayed open so long, and how the Kefauver Committee hearings impacted not just the clubs and their owners, but the lives of thousands of casino goers after the clubs were shut down. Where would the good people play blackjack?
Club owners and employees alike headed to Las Vegas in the mid-1950's to help open the suddenly booming Nevada town's new casinos and fill jobs that would have gone wanting. And, local players found themselves heading to the oasis in the desert just as previously sated gamblers in other cities that had lost their favorite pastime locations were doing.
This new book provides an excellent look at the times, a history of gaming, illegal though it might have been, in the town of Toledo, Ohio. For collectors, the ability to finally verify or attribute a chip to a specific club is a wonderful thing. Shaffer's book will do this for many chip and dice collectors. To facilitate use, a complete index and bibliography are included.