October 23, 2023 2 min read


Casino Mogul Donald Laughlin Passes Away at 92

Joe Lombardo, released a statement on the matter, lauding Laughlin as an outstanding Nevadan

Donald “Don” Laughlin, the American gambling entrepreneur, hotelier and rancher for whom the Nevadan town of Laughlin was named, has passed away at 92. His business broke the news on Facebook, informing his followers that on Sunday, Laughlin passed away peacefully.

The announcement said:

Don touched many lives in our local community as well as nationwide, and we understand how difficult this news will be for many. Especially our Riverside Resort family. Don Laughlin was truly an amazing man to work with and learn from.

Official announcement

The announcement added that Laughlin’s family has asked for some time to grieve. An official statement about the upcoming memorial service will be made shortly.

Nevada’s Governor, Joe Lombardo, released a statement on the matter, lauding Laughlin as an outstanding Nevadan.

Donna and I were saddened to hear of Don Laughlin’s passing today. Don built and developed his namesake town of Laughlin, making it into the city it is today.

Governor Joe Lombardo

Laughlin’s wife passed away a year and a half earlier.

Laughlin Replicated Las Vegas’ Success in Southern Nevada

Laughlin was born in Owatonna, Minnesota, on May 4, 1931. His career in gambling began during his time in fur trapping when he installed slot machines in hunting lodges. Disgruntled by Laughlin’s business, his high school principal asked the young Donald to either cease his slots operations or drop out.

Laughlin stuck to his businesses. By 1952, he had collected enough money to go to Vegas. Two years later, he bought his first casino, the 101 Club.

Eventually, Laughlin realized the potential of the tri-state area at the convergence of Nevada, California, and Arizona. In 1964, he left Vegas and moved to an abandoned motel property in southern Nevada. Two years later, he reopened the property, which was now a casino offering slots games, gaming tables and a chicken buffet.

The property eventually became the well-known Riverside Resort. South Pointe eventually grew into the town of Laughlin. The town now boasts eight casino resorts and is a major gambling destination.


Angel has a passion for all forms of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. His curious nature gives him an ace up his sleeve when researching a new topic. Angel’s thirst for knowledge, paired with adaptability, always helps him find his way around.

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