The names of William Graham and Jim McKay at the beginning of the last century were known to everyone who had at least minimal relation to the American gambling market, which was criminalized at that time. Jim McKay became one of the biggest dealers in Reno, which, before the heyday of Las Vegas, claimed the status of the capital of gambling entertainment.
So, McKay control the largest casinos and at one time played a very important role and enormous importance in the history of the city.
A little about the life of James
The hero of our article was born in Virginia City, where, in fact, he spent his childhood. His parents were very wealthy people, and in his youth, the guy pays great attention to the family business. Perhaps if life would have turned out differently, if he had not started working for George Wingfield, a coal magnate and banker. Obviously, this person noticed the potential that the young man has and began to attract him to his work.
Then McKay goes under the leadership of a certain Nick Abelman, who made a very lucrative offer to Jim – a managerial position, as well as a share in his gambling establishment. Note that the hero of our article was a man of tough disposition – he easily managed to embezzle money, carry out all kinds of fraud and even beat up a visitor of a gambling establishment.
First steps in big business
1920 – Bill Schram and Jim McKay move permanently to Reno, representing the interests of McKay’s employer, John Wingfield, who opens gambling establishments in the city. Young people almost immediately switch to crime – bookmakers, bootlegging, prostitution and underground gambling establishments.
Over time, the name of Jim McKay was associated with an experienced and skillful gambler for every resident of the city – he managed to easily get into the trust of pit bosses, sports managers, dealers and other employees of establishments working in the field of gambling to gain access to the information he needed. Note that Jim’s bets were almost never losing.
At the peak of a career
As they progress, Graham and McKay buy a club located on the outskirts of Reno – the premises were redone and the club re-launched under the name The Willows.
The business continues to gain momentum, and several years later, several large gambling establishments opened in Reno, including the Bank Palace Club. McKay and his partner Graham delve into the city’s criminal world, without their participation not a single major case goes. Note that the companion casinos are visited by politicians, musicians and Hollywood stars.
In the 1930s, a wave of rallies swept across the United States, where participants argued for the legalization of gambling establishments. Anticipating the legalization of gambling, Jim McKay is investing serious money in the reconstruction of the Bank Palace Club, which has become the best casino in the United States for a long time.
McKay was engaged in the gambling business until the end of 1952, slowly but surely losing to large corporations. For several years Jim goes to jail, which also did not favor the development of his business. Ultimately McKay retired from gambling and lived with his family until 1962, when he passed away on his estate.