Laughlin is named for gaming pioneer Don Laughlin.
He first started his gaming career in Minnesota where he bought mail
order slot machines and installed them in local bars. He bought them
with money from trapping mink and muskrat. In the early 1950s, laws changed
making slot machines a felony in Minnesota. So, he headed to Las Vegas
where he worked as a bartender and went to card and dice dealer school.
He owned and operated a small place in Vegas for 10 years, before he
bought a small boarded up motel in what was then referred to only as
the Tri-state area. Today it is hard to imagine that a basically deserted
highway is all that existed here in 1964.