Saturday, Oct. 19, 1968 | 6 a.m.
Upwards of 10,000 Las Vegas and out-of-town guests ushered in what may become a new medium in casinos last night when the first "family-style" casino opened.
"Circus Circus is a new type for Las Vegas. We have a kiddy room for the little ones, a second floor where teenagers can play games with beautiful prizes, but no money, and a pit on the ground floor with the finest games for adults in town," Jay Sarno, innovator of the new idea in casinos, pointed out.
When asked about the question of the regular headline-type circus acts disturbing big gamblers in the casino, Sarno scoffed, adding"
"The old story of the man who made four sevens in a row and when his wife fainted, he stepped over her to reach for the dice to make the fifth pass...holds true here. The show will attract others and never phase the real players."
On the teen-age entertainment level, the second floor, running completely around the pit on a balcony, houses ball toss games, skee ball, electronic shooting galleries, several varieties of horse race games, a fortune teller, fish pond with prize and a myriad of other attractions.
All these games offer prize coupons and tokens redeemable for gifts in a premium shop. One management spokesman said the organization plans to give away upwards of $200,000 worth of gifts a month from the second floor games.
For the invitational opening, set from 7 to 10 p.m., costumes were suggested. Among those seen wandering around were Little Bo Peep, complete with crook and one black sheep, several in native African attire, many, many harem girls, both in and out of costume, desert and Arab characters and a large smattering of costumes representative of shows and attractions at other casinos on the Strip.
When the new establishment opened to the general public at 10 p.m., the hold-out crowd stretched, four abreast, for over a block.
One casino spokesman said he expected the total to pass the door on opening day to exceed the 20,000 mark, a record for a Strip casino.