Nevada State Prison
Mr. Craves was watching an episode of Pawn Stars and he asked a question that I could not answer and was not even aware of! The episode was call “You Say You Wanna Revolution” and it aired on January 2, 2014. Corey is checking out a set of gambling tokens from the Nevada State Prison. The only legal casino to ever exist in a prison.
My curiosity was peaked and I had to find out more about this prison casino!
Located In Carson City, Nevada. The prison was opened in 1862 and closed in 2012. Check Out the book – Nevada State Prison by authors Jennifer E. Riddle, Sena M. Loyd, Stacy L. Branham, and Curt Thomas.
- It was one of the oldest prisons still operating in the U.S.
- The prison was a maximum security facility and home to some of the state’s worst offenders. Armed Robbers, Murderers and even Serial Killers.
- It was designed to hold 841 inmates and employed a staff of 211.
- The prison was established by the Nevada Territorial Legislature at the site of the Warm Springs Hotel in Nevada Territory. From a hotel to a prison.
- The prison quarry provided stone material for the Nevada State Capitol and the U.S. Mint, which is now the Nevada State Museum.
- Nevada became a state in October 1864.
- The prison had two fires, one in 1867 and another one in 1870. In 1870 the prison was rebuilt with stone from the on site quarry.
Here Comes the Interesting History of NSP!
- With the legalization of gaming in Nevada, NSP allowed inmates to gamble in the “Bull Pen”, a casino that was set up inside the prison in 1932 and closed in 1967.
- The prison had a legal, prisoner-operated casino.
- Prisoners could gamble on card games and dominos.
- The prison had its own currency known as “prison brass”.
- The casino expanded to include table games and sports betting.
Other Prisoner Activities
- Since 1928 all license plates in Nevada have been made at the prison.
- The prison offered inmates baseball, basketball and boxing teams.
- The prison band was called The Boys in Blue who performed at charitable events and was featured on a weekly radio program.
- The inmates produce mattresses as well as having a bookbindery and print shop at the prison.