Gamblers Book Club
is one of the most famous gaming institutions in Las Vegas—and with more than 3,000 titles, the largest gaming book store in the world. During its 47-year history as the reigning authority on gambling publications, the GBC has hosted numerous book signings by internationally famous gaming authors, including Nick Pileggi, author of Casino and Wise Guys; thoroughbred handicapper Andy Beyer, author of The Winning Horseplayer; Ken Uston, author ofMillion Dollar Blackjack; and poker legend Amarillo Slim, author of Play Poker to Win.
Through the doors of the GBC have passed virtually all the legends of gambling. On any given day, you might find poker legend Doyle Brunson talking about his bookSuper System or the exploits of his life in the rough and tumble days of yore, or handicapping icon Lem Banker chatting with gambling historian Howard Schwartz, famed consultant and figurehead of the GBC. Casino owners Steve Wynn, Jackie Gaughan, and Jack Binion have purchased books on casino management, surveillance and customer service. Ex-mobsters, FBI agents, best-selling authors, legendary screenwriters such as William Goldman (who wrote the screenplay forButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), and gaming researchers regularly shop here. The GBC was even credited in the hit movie Rounders.
John and Edna Luckman founded the Gambler’s Book Club in their home in 1964 as a hobby. They started with 18 titles on gambling that they sold through mail order. When John retired as a floor person at the Tropicana, they rented a storefront on Charleston near Main in Las Vegas. The Luckmans began publishing gaming books soon after opening the GBC, including several titles that John wrote—a library that eventually would number more than 250 works. Their company, GBC Press, published the first hold’em poker book in 1976, David Sklansky’s seminal work, Hold’em Poker, and the first pai gow poker book ever. John Scarne, Walter Gibson, Sonny Reizner, and the great Harry Houdini are just a few GBC Press authors. Later, the store was renamed Gambler's Book Shop so that shoppers wouldn't think they had to join a club, but we have restored the original name to Gambler's Book Club.
The GBC now features its widest selection ever of gaming titles, DVDs and software, and has added accessories such as cards, dice, gaming felts, memorabilia—plus a wide range of biographies, Vegas interest items, games such as chess and backgammon, and Mafia titles.
After more than 30 years on Charleston and 11th in Downtown Las Vegas, the GBC recently moved to a more appealing location, replete with wood floors and bookcases, with memorabilia tucked into every nook and cranny. The GBC is about three miles east of the Strip at 5473 S. Eastern Ave, Las Vegas NV 89119 (between Tropicana and Russell, two blocks from Wal-Mart). Store hours are 9 till 7 Monday-Friday, and 10-6 on Saturdays.
Next time you’re in Las Vegas, come visit the most famous gambling store in the world. You never know what gaming celebrity you’ll run into!