The well-oiled customers in the South Shore Room of Bill Harrah's Club at Stateline, Nev. last week had gone into the Sierra foothills with the same single-minded purpose that sent the Forty-Niners up the same steep trail more than a century ago. But there was this difference: the miner stood a fair chance of taking his gold out of the hills; the gamblers stand a better chance of leaving it there. Bill Harrah's glossy casinos—two on the shore of Lake Tahoe, one 56 miles away in Reno—are a rich vein only for their...

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