The El Rey Club, Searchlight, NV

The El Rey Club, Searchlight, NV
The El Rey Resort & Casino, Circa 1957-1962

The Collection


Many eBay vendors hoping to find info on value on El Rey Casino items are finding this blog. I thought it would be a good time to post a list of what I currently own and what I'm looking for. I'll do this in two posts, starting with what I already have (but could always use more).

If you eBay folks would like to know what I paid for these items you can contact me. While you're at it, you can tell me what you're selling and ask if I'd be interested in purchasing from you directly. I know it is not as exciting as starting a bidding war, but it certainly would be much nicer.

Items I Own

#1 & #2: Two El Rey Ashtrays.
So far as I know, there are only three styles of El Rey ashtray around. There are these two are EXCELLENT examples. I've recently purchased a METAL El Rey ashtray. See it later in this post.

#3: El Rey Coaster.
I actually have a couple of these. I bought a lot of 4 of them not too long ago andgave each of my siblings one of them so they could share in the El Rey fun.

#4: El Rey Mailer/Brochure
This one is very cool indeed! It folds up for easy mailing and unfolds to reveal some great photos and descriptions. This is one of two that were available on eBay some time back. I got outbid on the other one. I wish the seller would have called me first!

#5: El Rey Post Card #1.
This is one of three post cards I own
(Two are of the same image. One mailed, one not.)
This seems to be the rarer of the two cards I've found thus far.

#6: El Rey Post Card #2.
This is the one I have two of. The photo is fairly common among the few websites out there with El Rey info and I believe this to be a more common card, even though it may actually be an older card.

#7 & #8: El Rey Poker Chips (Later issue).
These are fairly common. They are probably from after the 1962 fire and may be from a time when Willie was less involved with the club I bought two more of these and donated them to the Searchlight Museum. Why?
Because I'm a nice guy and I'm hopeful others reading this will be equally as nice to me one day. :)

El Rey $25.00 Chip

I just got this one recently. This one is supposed to be the "thrid issue" of the chip, but I don't care. I'll happily purchase others of earlier issue if I can afford it.

#10: "Tonight for Sure"
Not technically something from the El Rey, but the casino is prominently featured in the film. Since it is something of a harder to find item I included it here. You can get your own copy of the film at Something Weird Video.

#11: El Rey Matchbook.
Gold foil (Not that you could tll by the scan). This is one of two matchbooks I'm aware of. There may be more. All I know is that I got my heart broken losing an auction for the other one and I can't quite get over it.

#12: El Rey Matchbook w/Willie Martello's Image

Yeah, baby! I not only managed to get a hold of one of these beauties, I have one with all the matches inside, and some winning hands of poker printed on the matches. For the complete story of just how I got this fantastic matchbook click HERE.

$1.00 El Rey Poker Chip#13: $1.00 Poker Chip in DAMN EXCELLENT CONDITION!

Jerry Schafer himself gave this to me personally. I'm more than honored. The whole story about this chip can be found HERE.

My El Rey Dice - NOT FOR SALE! #14: El Rey Dice in EXCELLENT CONDITION!

An eBay purchase gone right & one AMAZING bit of generosity! I know there are several other styles to collect, but I'm happy as a clam to have these. So far as I can tell I have seven different styles and know of at least 11 in total, maybe more.

The bottom set has matching serial numbers. Details on the first pair of dice can be found
HERE. Details on the other two sets can be found HERE.

And speaking of dice...

Certified Perfects, El Rey Dice from Midwest GamingChristy & Jones El Rey Dice in original packaging.  Serial number #209 - NOT FOR SALE! #15: Christy & Jones El Rey Resort Dice in Original Packaging Serial #209

TOO COOL! More from the amazing generosity of Ed Darling. I can't thank him enough! Read all about these beauties HERE.

And the dice keep on rolling...

#16: Midwest Game Supply "Certified Perfects" El Rey Dice in Original Packaging
HOLY CRAPS! These are just beautiful and they have the date hot-stamped on the box from when they were packaged (April 27, 1965).

These are smaller than all the other styles of dice.

This design is very cool as well. Don't believe me...

Close-up scan of the El Rey Certified Perfects from Midwest Game Supply Company - NOT FOR SALE!A close-up of the above dice.

Info about these dice (AND THE DICE I HAVE AVAILABLE FOR TRADE) can be found HERE.

El Rey Dice with Script Logo - NOT FOR SALE!#17: EL Rey Dice, Script Logo, Non-Matching Serial Numbers

This is the only set I've ever seen of these. VERY cool, even if they're not "perfect" by collector's standards. I'm not selling them anyway so it doesn't matter.

Christy & Jones El Rey Dice, Smaller Style - NOT FOR SALE!#18: Christy & Jones El Rey Dice, Smaller Size, Matching Serial Numbers

These are the same design as the above pictured C&J dice with the embossed serial numbers. However, these are a smaller size, the same size as the "Certified Perfects" above. I am fairly sure these were made by C&J. If anyone has info about them, let me know. Yet another style that "didn't exist" until I got my hands on them!

#19: Single El Rey Club Die (Circa early 1950's???)

Not the prettiest of my collection, but certainly one of the most rare


#20: TWO Original 8x10 glossy promotional Photos from "Tonight for Sure"

Will get scans up soon!

#21: Original "Tonight for Sure" Advertising

All too cool to limit this to a small jpeg. Check out the whole post HERE.
#22: The El Rey Photo that Started this Crazy Habit
Just click the link to see what I'm talking about.

El Rey Club Button
#23 El Rey Buttons

Currently I own two of these and I may be able to get my hands on more. I am looking into their history as they may not be actually form the El Rey Era. Not sure yet. Also, these may available in different colors. OOH! The extras I accumulate over the years COULD be available for trade and MAYBE for purchase. Contact me if interested.

El Rey Casino Line of Credit
#24 El Rey "City Ledger Card" (Line of Credit), #336, 1956-1957

 This item is believed to have come from the home of Mary Patterson. There is writing on the front and back detailing a gambling story (front), a rather colorful story about a guest at the El Rey, and possibly the combination to the safe at the El Rey (back, not pictured). The bearer of this card (if properly issued and signed) was allowed a line of credit at the El Rey Club.

El Rey Casino 1961 W2 Form
#25 1961 W2 Slip for M.A. Patterson, Employee of the El Rey 

Generally the collectibles people find have more to do with the items you've already seen in this post. Ashtrays, gaming chips, and the like. Finding something tangible from a person who worked there is special for me. I've been looking into the history of the person who worked there and when I have something to share I certainly will do so.

El Rey Casino Gaming Voucher
#26 El Rey Resort Hotel $4.00 Gaming Voucher #1777

 So far as I know, prior to my finding these, they simply "didn't exist anymore". I've not met anyone with any to share or sell and I certainly never saw one until I managed to get my hands on SEVERAL of them. These are printed on check paper and were used as "comps" back in the day (Willie was ahead of the game I tell ya!) I believe these were also handed out to passengers on the airplane while heading to the El Rey. These will likely be used as special incentives to buy my upcoming book. Meaning, a special edition will feature my signature as well as an El Rey artifact. However I can be persuaded to trade or sell some of them, if a collector would like to have one.

#27 El Rey Resort hotel $4.00 Gaming Voucher, Signed by Willie Martello 

This is just another "impossible" thing to find. I can't believe I have this one in my collection. Far too cool!

Wliie Martello Business Card Chip
M.W. Sawyer Business Card Chip#28 & #29: El Rey Advertising Chips

These had no real cash value (accept for collectors) and were used as Willie Martello's business card for some time. I FINALLY got my hands on not one, but TWO of these through an eBay sale. I even know where to find one additional one, but currently it is not for sale. Why do I have TWO of them? Well, one is the Willie Martello chip and the other is the even more rare W.M. Sawyer chip. Looking into who Sawyer was and what capacity he worked for the El Rey.

Searchlight Business Men's Association Letterhead#30: Searchlight Business Men's Association
(Willie Martello, President...of Course)

 Amazingly, with all the old Nevada memorabilia collectors, with all the casino collectors, with all the El Rey hounds out there, NOBODY bid on this fabulous item on eBay and I won it for a GREAT price. I'll get a full scan up here one day soon.

The names alone are worth some cash, if not historical value. Sixteen names appear on this great stationery and I intend on learning about all of them.

Because of this I did learn that M.C. Patterson was NOT a lady who worked at the El Rey, but rather a man who worked for Willie and ran his Texaco station in town. This is a cool item and I have TWO of them
(One available for trade).

El Rey Club Tin Ashtray#31: Metal El Rey Ashtray (RARE!)

 Details on how this very rare gem came into my hands can be found HERE.

1946 Navy Blue $5 El Rey Chip
32: $5.00 Navy Blue El Rey Poker Chip (Large Crown Mold)

One of the "white whales" is now in my collection! It is estimated that there are fewer than 15 of these left in existence. I am very happy to have this one, even if I paid...some money for it.

This one came from 1946, the year the casino opened. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that other chips will surface from Willie's family members as there are not many other types of casino chips known to be around eny more. Rest assured, if it exists somewhere I WILL find one.

Drilled $5 El Rey Chip with Willie's Picture#33: $5.00 El Rey Poker Chip w/Willie's Picture (Drilled)

Bought this one at an auction. Didn't spend as little as I wanted, but didn't spend as much as I thought I would. So I'm very happy. This was the second one I picked up in the same day. YES!

El Rey Beer Cans#34 & #35: El Rey Beer Cans

The beer that inspired the names for the El Rey Clubs in California and Nevada! Not the greatest or most pristine examples of either can, but that's no matter to me. I'm happy to have them in the collection.

Sure with this beer were around today. I'd love to find out why the Martello's liked it so much. 

#36: El Rey Barboot Table??? 

This one is actually a bit of a mystery, but I think I've figured it out. Barboot (aka Barbooth, Barbudi, Barbut, Barbotte, Bar'Boot, and Even-Up Craps) is an even money game pitting player against player (two players at a time). When played in a casino, the house generally takes a percentage of the losing players wager.

While it has origins in Greece and the Middle East, a little homework online shows that this game was heavily favored by Italians. Illegal Barboot rings are cited among many mobster families (including Capone) and could be found in the back rooms of taverns & cigar shops. It was also played for fun among Italian families.

I'm still looking for some confirmation that Willie's large family may have played this game, it is very possible that it could have been played or offered at the El Rey. It is a licensed game in Nevada, though you'll rarely find it anywhere.


I also have a piece of the planter holding a palm tree, which is really the last surviving piece of the original El Rey. I even took a dried up piece of the palm itself. No need for photos. They're not special nor valuable to collectors.

If anyone is interested in trades I do have a few sets of dice, some ashtrays, buttons, and other items available. Click here to learn about the items for trade!

Read ALL My El Rey Posts by Clicking HERE!