Palace Club Records

Identifier: 2015-34

Scope and Contents

The Palace Club Records contains mostly financial information on the day-to-day operations of the company, including the Palace Club as the gaming establishment, the Palace Club Hotel, and the Palace Club Bar. The largest part of the collection is the paid invoices and business correspondence, found in Series 2. Filed alphabetically, these invoices document the local and national companies with whom the Palace Club worked. Both Series 2 and Series 3, General Financial, include information about Racehorse Keno, more commonly known as Keno.

Daily gaming account sheets, Series 4, comprise perhaps the richest part of this collection. From 1937-1943, these cards document the amount of money with which a table started, the gain/loss by the table, and the end balance for that table. This nearly complete record gives a snapshot of the gaming activities of individuals during the World War II era as well as profit and loss by the casino.

A small amount of additional personal information from the Petricciani family along with other family interests is also included. Among these items are Golden Hotel Resort records from the late 1970s to when the family filed in the early 1980s and Anne Petricciani's involvement with the St. Thomas Aquinas church.


  • 1920-1984
  • Majority of material found within 1934-1945


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Administrative History

The Palace Club, located at 46 Commercial Row in Reno, Nevada, was acquired by Giovanni "John" Petricciani in 1927. He opened the Palace Club in 1931 as a gaming establishment with a number of table games after the State of Nevada legalized gambling. Over the years, a number of individuals leased the property. In 1964, the Petricciani family, including brothers Silvio and John, Jr. and their two sisters, Clorinda and Marietta, took over the casino. The family ran the casino until September 1979 when they sold it to Harrah's Hotel-Casino. The Palace Club never reopened and was torn down soon after.

In April 1936, the Palace Club began operating Racehorse Keno, today known simply as Keno, which, according to historian Dwayne Kling, played an important role in Reno's gaming history. From the 1940s through the early 1980s, Keno was one of the largest revenue producers for many casinos and an important tax contributor to the State of Nevada. The Palace Club is noted for bringing keno to a place of prominence in Reno and for refining and polishing the game. Petricciani and another man, Peter Merialdo, worked to convince Nevada's governor that racehorse keno was a "banking game" played with a mechanical device, and therefore not illegal like Chinese Lottery, the game on which keno is based.

[Parts of the above history taken from Dwayne Kling's book The Rise of the Biggest Little City: An Encyclopedic History of Reno Gaming, 1931-1981]


9.2 Linear Feet (9 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Palace Club was one of the first clubs to offer gaming after the State of Nevada legalized it in 1931. Giovanni (John) Petricciani purchased the Club in 1927; the family owned the Club until 1979 when they sold it to Harrah's Casino. Collection contains administrative, financial, and gaming materials related to the running of the Palace Club. Also included are materials from the Golden Hotel Resort, also owned by the Petricciani family, and a small number of financial records from St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church.


Arranged in the following series: 1) Administrative; 2) Invoices and Business Correspondence; 3) General Financial; 4) Daily Gaming Account Sheets; 5) Golden Hotel Resort Records; 6) Petricciani Family Materials; 7) St. Thomas Aquinas Financial Records

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC in October 2015.


Guide to the Palace Club Records
Jessica Maddox
January 2018
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)