LIFE: Vintage Vegas

LIFE.com presents photos--many of which never ran in LIFE magazine-- from the mid-1950s, when the high-stakes mecca was in the midst of a building boom that would redefine it forever.

Not published in LIFE. Las Vegas, 1955.
Vegas
Not published in LIFE. Las Vegas, 1955.
Not published in LIFE. Las Vegas, 1955. A prop slot machine backstage at the Royal Nevada Hotel and Casino
Vegas
Not published in LIFE. Las Vegas, 1955. A prop slot machine backstage at the Royal Nevada Hotel and Casino
Not published in LIFE. Las Vegas, 1955
Vegas
Not published in LIFE. Las Vegas, 1955
Idling croupiers (in shirtsleeves) dawdled behind their roulette tables because few customers were placing bets in The Dunes two weeks after opening night.
Vegas
Idling croupiers (in shirtsleeves) dawdled behind their roulette tables because few customers were placing bets in The Dunes two weeks after opening night.
Crap tables at Dunes were tried by Jake Freedman (center), owner of rival Sands club. He lost $10,000 before deciding his luck was off that night.
Vegas
Crap tables at Dunes were tried by Jake Freedman (center), owner of rival Sands club. He lost $10,000 before deciding his luck was off that night.
Not published in LIFE. Las Vegas, 1955.
Vegas
Not published in LIFE. Las Vegas, 1955.

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