Business Hall of Fame Inductee: William F. Harrah

William F. Harrah

William F. Harrah

Nevada's first true casino magnate, the late William F. Harrah helped shape the gaming industry throughout Nevada and the world. Starting with a modest business venture in 1932, Harrah's legacy grew from a small bingo parlor in Venice, California, into a veritable casino empire that is still admired and emulated today. A strong supporter of gaming regulation, Harrah was influential in creating the Nevada Gaming Control Board in 1955. Among the properties Harrah owned during his lifetime are the Plaza Tango and Harrah's Club in Reno, and the Gateway Club and Harrah's in Lake Tahoe. In 1971, Harrah's became the first publicly traded gaming company in history. Bill harrah passed away in 1978.