The King of Casinos

The King of Casinos : Willie Martello and The El Rey Club

4.42 (26 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Contributions by 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 15-18 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.



The unreal but TRUE story of the unknown casino that changed Las Vegas forever! WARNING! Contains Nudity, Prostitution, Vintage Vegas, Celebrities, and (some) Mobsters!

After a horrific blaze destroyed Willie Martello's El Rey Club in 1962, fifty years would pass before anyone knew of how that casino and one-time brothel influenced LAS VEGAS casinos, upset the mob, and inadvertently launched the career of Francis Ford Coppola.

Were it not for the chance discovery of a single photo in a Las Vegas museum, the El Rey Club would only be known as the seedy brothel where Senator Harry Reid learned to swim. Martello's accomplishments should place him among magnates like Howard Hughes or Steve Wynn, yet very few know his name.

Featuring over 140 rare or unseen photos, these vibrant stories are now brought to light!


"Who else could tell the story of Willie Martello? The rare photos alone are worth the price of admission. My only regret is that I didn't write this book."
-Robert Graysmith, New York Times Bestselling Author of Zodiac, Auto-Focus, and Black Fire

"Quick, funny, and extremely intelligent!"
-Mark L. Walberg, Host, Antiques Roadshow (PBS)

"A literal time machine...a read that not only unleashes the imagination, but authenticates the splendor of Las Vegas' golden years."
-Todd Newton, Emmy-winning game show host, author, and Las Vegas performer

"Andy Martello has written a fascinating biography of Willie Martello. It is a long-awaited addition to my Nevada history shelf."
-Mark Hall-Patton, Clark County Museum System Administrator, Pawn Stars, American Restoration (The History Channel)

-Richard B Taylor, Author, historian, Las Vegas casino owner


BOOK OF THE YEAR!, Casino Chip & Gaming Token Collectors Club, Inc

WINNER! 2014 International Book, 2014 USA Best Book Awards, Florida Book Festival, Great Southwest Book Festival

WINNER! Silver Medals, 2014 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards, 2014 American Advertising Awards for book design (The ADDYs)

FINALIST! Best New Non-Fiction, USA Best Book Awards, 2014 Red City Review Book Awards

RUNNER-UP! 2014 Hollywood and Beach Book Festivals

HONORABLE MENTION!, Great Midwest and Southern California Book Festivals
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 16mm | 408g
  • English
  • 0615894593
  • 9780615894591

About Andy Martello

Andy Martello is a comedian, actor, variety entertainer, and freelance writer. Originally from Chicago he now makes his home in Las Vegas, Nevada. A writer since birth, his work has appeared in the pages of the North Las Vegas Voice newspaper and Strip Las Vegas magazine. Aside from his very popular (and rarely updated) blogs, his humor and opinion columns can be found at web magazines such as The Cheers, Absolute Write, Malicious Bitch, and Gapers Block. This is Andy's first (and probably his last) book.
show more

Rating details

26 ratings
4.42 out of 5 stars
5 69% (18)
4 12% (3)
3 12% (3)
2 8% (2)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X