43 West First Street
1931 to 1933
Photo from the Dwayne Kling Collection

The Deauville was the first casino whose owners came up with the idea of forming a corporation and selling shares in the operation. Several advertisements in the NEVADA STATE JOURNAL in the spring of 1931 announced that shares in the newly formed Deauville Corporation were for sale. Then on May 9, 1931, the newspaper included as announcement that "the Deauville, a casino cabaret, is scheduled to open in one month at the corner of First and Sierra Streets with A.C. Langan as general manager."

The Deauville Casino Cabaret opened on July 31. Named for the famous French resort town at the mouth of the Seine, the casino was called a "new palace of pleasure that is declared to be the most beautiful and luxurious in the west." The decor, in green, gold, and red, was opulent and elegant. Floors were richly carpeted, except for the ebony-finished oval dance floor. From the high lobby inside the First Street entrance, a stairway lighted by massive chandeliers led to the lounge with its rich drapes and furnishings, an art display, and the well-known Sybil Huntington painting, HER DAY OF FREEDOM. Draped arches led from the lounge to the casino and cabaret. The Deauville featured fine dining and was open all night for dancing and gambling.

The ten gaming layouts in the casino, all of the latest deluxe construction, included a handsome inlaid roulette wheel, a French double roulette table, a chemin-de-fer table, an English hazard wheel, a big-six wheel, a faro game, a craps game, and two 21 tables. French plate mirrors covered the casino walls, surmounted by rich drapes in deep shades of green. In both large rooms, the plaster reliefs on the walls and ceiling were noteworthy for their beauty. The casino was declared to be equal in luxury to any club or gambling establishment in this country or in Mexico.

The president of the Deauville Corporation and general manager of the operation was Arthur Langan. It was he who conceived the plan of a first-class dining, dancing, and gaming resort in Reno, and he directed every detail of the design and construction. Langan was widely known in Nevada, having spent many years participating in the Tonopah and Goldfield booms. Later he was a mining broker in Rawhide and Reno. He was a close friend of the famous "plunger" Riley Grannon, was associated with Tex Rickard in the promotion of championship boxing events, and accompanied Rickard on excursions to South America. He was also involved in motion-picture productions with Thomas Ince, was second in command of the Scott Antarctic polar expedition of 1912, and had crossed the Atlantic Ocean more than 20 times.

Frank Cody was in charge of gambling at the Deauville. He was known from Miami and Havana to Aguascalientes, Mexico, as a successful casino operator, a "square shooter," and a friend of notables all over the country. Ray Holbrook, the casino cashier, had held a similar position under Tex Rickard and Kid Highley in the famous Northern Casino in Goldfield.

A torrential downpour in August flooded the Deauville and inflicted so much damage that it was necessary to close the club for over a week. Perhaps the flood contributed to the demise of the Deauville, or perhaps Reno was not yet ready for such an elegant club. Whatever the reason, the beautiful casino was in financial trouble as early as September 1931. A petition of bankruptcy was heard on September 30, and the Deauville closed a short time later.

It reopened briefly in June 1933. Shortly after it closed for the last time, the property was incorporated into an adjoining business, the Town House.

The location was razed by fire in 1955. After the fire, the J.C. Penney Company built and operated a retail store on the property for many years. Today the site of the Deauville is part of the Town Center Mall.

According to Dwayne Kling

From the Dwayne Kling Collection

To the best of our knowledge, no casino ashtrays were ever created for the Deauville. If you happen to know where one exists, please consider sharing a photo of it with the collecting community.