Sam Nason was a guy with ideas. He once purchased 50 acres of land that straddled
the Hamilton and Clermont county lines. In the 1960's Moe Dalitz asked Danny,
what ever happened to the property and proceeded to tell Danny about Sam's
grand plan. Sam had every intention of building a movable casino building.
It would be towed into the county with the least heat whenever needed. In
the middle 30's Sam and Harold bought a bullet proof Cadillac. Harold used
it to transport the daily takes from the Arrowhead and Walk A Show to the
bank in downtown Cincinnati. Danny found the car many years later in a storage
garage on 4th street, in downtown Cincinnati.
The Fox & Crow was raided in early 1952. Tommy Callahan was busy across
the street with a woman at the time. He has always been blamed for the closure.
Sammy Schrader called Las Vegas and got Tommy a job at the Desert Inn. Tommy
went on to be associated with the Pioneer, Crystal Palace, and The Flamingo.
He opened the Four Queen's in 1966 as General Manager and was said to have
had points in the casino. Tommy brought many associates to the Four Queen's.
Most had started in gaming at The Arrowhead or The Walk A Show.
Estes Kefauver closed the Nason's down in 1952, but not for long. In late
1952 Elmwood authorities allowed only one casino to re-open. The Nason's went
in partners with the owners of the Blade. The new casino was called the 5911
(1952- 56), as it was at 5911 Vine street. The Nason's had a race and sports
book as late as 1959 in Cheviot. They had the OK for table games but never
did put them on.
Except for the Fox & Crow that was not operated by them, all of the Nason's
casinos were on the up and up as far as the gambling went. I am not saying
the Fox & Crow had crooked gambling. I do not know. The Nason's had $50
limits at all of their casinos. Big winners were rare and a customer becoming
stuck had no chance of getting even. They were grind joints. I feel this is
one reason the Nason's turned down Beverly Hills. They had a taste of high
limit gambling and the devices used to assure there would not be winners,
at The Arrowhead. I think they were much happier with the grind action. If
you went broke in a Nason club there was always walking money and you did
not have to ask for it.
Yes, I am saying that Beverly Hills had rigged games, as did The Lookout
House and The Latin Quarter. Square games were operated at the clubs with
smaller limits such as The Merchants, 633 Club, and The Yorkshire.
A little footnote in history: Porky and Bobby Lassoff put up the bankroll
for The Merchants. They would also put up money and be part owner of the Dunes
Both of the Nason's passed on soon after the era of the illegals ended in
1960. Harold in 1964 at the age of 64 and Sam in 1966 at the age of 68. In
the end, they could not out hustle the Grim Reaper. I can just imagine the
man with the sythe standing there and Harold offering to play him, one hand
of 5 card stud, "for double or nothing." The Nason's stamp will forever be
on the illegal casino business of Cincinnati and Northern KY.
Thank you to Irv Finklestein who in 1946 as a young veteran of WW II needed
a job. He started at the Walk A Show as a cashier. He knew nothing about gambling
and the Nason's taught him well. He went on to devote the next 50 years to
Danny Nason, what can I say? Thank you seems so inadequate. You shared your
family's life with us. The chip world thanks you. I am happy to call you,
I must admit there was quite a few "off the record stories" left on the cutting
room floor. Maybe someday, Danny will authorize "Part V - Arrowhead Club"
- "The Rest Of The Story"
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