AGA Fireside Chat –

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Event Series Event Series: Ameican Gaming Archives

April 15, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

American Gaming Archives – Fireside Chat
The Bank Club: Square Dealing or Capitol Crime

April 15, 2023 (Tax Day)
1:00 – 2:30pm

Michael Fischer, speaker and Howard Herz, moderator.

Join us for our first AGA Fireside Chat for 2023 with Michael Fischer and Howard W. Herz, American Gaming Archives (AGA) Curator for the Nevada Historical Society.

The talk will focus on the story of The Bank Club: Square Dealing or Capitol Crime. Our speakers, Michael Fischer and Howard Herz combine their extensive knowledge about Nevada’s early gambling history to tell amazing stories about who controlled Reno during the 1930s to 1950s. Learn about the influential players, from local businessmen to local and state politicians and the mob that shaped the history of Nevada’s gambling and the people behind the Bank Club. They will show some original Bank Club ephemera during their talk. Fascinating Nevada history that you don’t want to miss!


Michael Fischer

Michael Fischer

Speaker Bio:
Dr. Michael E. Fischer was appointed Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs by Governor Gibbons in 2007 and served in the Sandoval Administration until Cultural Affairs was merged with Tourism. Prior to that, he practiced dentistry in Gardnerville for 31 years. Fischer served eight years as a Douglas County Commissioner.

Dr. Fischer brings many years of private sector cultural affairs management. He has served several terms on the Board of Directors of the Western Folklife Center. As a life member, he serves on the board of the Douglas County Historical Society. He is currently on the boards of the Thunderbird Lodge Preservation Society and the Nevada Agricultural Foundation.

His interest in Nevada History began as a child when his family visited historic sites around the state. He continues to be involved with the conversion of the H.F. Dangberg Home Ranch into one of Douglas County’s newest and oldest attractions.


Howard Herz

Howard Herz

Moderator Bio:
Howard W. Herz is a native of Reno Nevada and attended Reno schools through high school. After attending the University of Nevada for two years he transferred to Stanford University and graduated with a degree in civil engineering in 1969. Throughout his teenage years he worked for Harvey’s Resort Hotel in the summers and managed Harvey’s coin collections. In 1967 Harvey’s began collecting gambling chips. This collection stimulated Howard’s interest in the history of gambling in Nevada and later the history of gambling throughout the United States.

In the late 1990s Howard was able to visit several gambling manufacturing companies in the Chicago area. When these companies closed, Howard was able to preserve many of their records that now constitute the basis for the American Gaming Archives at the Nevada Historical Society.  Howard’s interest in gambling history continues to this day as he catalogs the Society’s substantial gambling records and artifacts. Of special interest are the records and artifacts of what the industry termed to be “special work” – cheating devices and methods.


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