By Mary Tyson, Director of Regional History
A horse in the Casino Club? Meh, not a problem for the Casino gamblers. They are clearly too engrossed in the table game to pay much attention to the man or his horse. This photo is a good snapshot of small-town nightly entertainment that was popular across America in the 1930s and 40s, with the exception (maybe) of the horse and rider.
In Idaho, each town had jurisdiction over the local gambling laws. Ketchum allowed table games, poker, and roulette, as well as slot machines. The game table behind these players is hard to see. We can’t see the game either, but it is likely roulette.
Sun Valley Resort, which opened in 1936, did not allow any gambling. Their guests would come a mile down the road to the Ketchum clubs to gamble and drink late into the night with sheep ranchers and other locals.
The Casino as we know it today was built in 1926 by Elmer Ebbe with logs cut from Baldy. At first it was a hotel and then its next owners, the Werry family, turned it into a casino and bar in the thirties. Along with the Sawtooth Club, it is one of the oldest running bars in Ketchum.