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Boyd Gaming Selling Henderson’s Eldorado Casino

James Murphy
by in Gaming Industry on
  • Boyd Gaming has announced the sale of the Eldorado Casino in Henderson, Nevada to DeSimone Gaming.
  • DeSimone Gaming currently owns the Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino just over the Nevada State Line near the Hoover Dam.
  • The Eldorado is one of three Boyd Gaming properties that has not reopened since the shutdown of the gaming industry in March.

Boyd Gaming has announced that they’ve reached an agreement to sell the Eldorado Casino in Henderson, Nevada. The property is being purchased by DeSimone Gaming which also owns the Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino–a familiar stop for anyone that has made the drive from Kingman, Arizona up to Las Vegas. Terms of the deal have not been announced.

The Eldorado has been owned or co-owned by the Boyd Family since 1962. It was Bill and Sam Boyd’s first go at owning a casino from which they’d go on to become a household name in Southern Nevada. The Eldorado has not been reopened since the state mandated shutdown of Nevada’s gaming industry in March. Boyd Gaming had placed the property into non-operational status and here’s what I wrote about the Eldorado’s history at the time:

The Eldorado Casino dates back to 1961 when it originally opened as the ‘Wheel Casino’. The Wheel struggled from the beginning and closed in 1962. At that point, Paul Perry bought it and was represented in the deal by an attorney named Bill Boyd who took a stake in the property. Bill Boyd brought in some other investors including his dad, Las Vegas casino legend Sam Boyd. It was reopened as the Eldorado Casino on July 1, 1962. The property doubled in size in 1965 via the acquisition of the adjacent Royal Club. The Boyd family took over full ownership in 1966. The property underwent a $1.5 million renovation in 1977 with the casino floor expanded to 30,000 square feet.

The property has always been a favorite of mine and is something of a ‘hidden gem’ among Southern Nevada gaming properties. It was acquired by the Boyd Gaming corporate entity in 1993. Renovations in 1997 and 2007 took away some of the classic charm of the property but it remains a refreshing alternative to the mega resorts found on The Strip. It was closed as part of the gaming industry shutdown ordered by Nevada governor Steve Siolak on March 17. The ‘nonoperational’ status of the property will extend through June 4, 2021 though that’s not an indication that it will reopen by that date.

The Eldorado name has already been scrubbed from the Boyd Gaming corporate website:

A Boyd spokesperson issued a statement to the Nevada media indicating that they would not be disclosing terms at this time. The spokesperson also dropped this quote which makes it sound like the Eldorado had cooties or something:

“The Eldorado was a non-core asset to our Company, and as we have continued to grow over the years, this property represented a very modest part of our overall business.”

If you asked my ex-wife for a statement about me it would be nicer than that terse sendoff. The Eldorado website makes no mention of the sale–it simply says that ‘We’ve Closed Our Doors’ and invites visitors to head down the street to the Jokers Wild on Boulder Highway:

The ‘We’ve Closed Our Doors’ bit has been added within the last 24 hours, presumably concurrent with the sale announcement. A view of the most recent Google cache version dated December 10 still indicates the property as being under Boyd ownership and has an identical ‘we are currently closed’ message as the Eastside Cannery and Main Street Station.

Likewise, the cached version of the Boyd Gaming corporate website also dated 12/10/20 still has the Eldorado listed with the rest of their Las Vegas area properties:

Boyd Gaming did include this nice ‘thank you’ message on the Eldorado website. I’m assuming they’ll be transferring the domain name over to the new owners…or maybe not. More about that after this quote:

The historic Eldorado Casino in downtown Henderson opened on July 1, 1962, marking Bill and Sam Boyd’s first venture into co-owning a casino. It has a colorful history, including being one of the first casinos to market directly to Las Vegas Locals, as well as being among the first casino to have female dealers, but what it will be remembered for most of all is the friendly environment that for many became a home away from home.

We’ll miss Eldorado’s welcoming atmosphere, but most of all, we’ll miss having you as our customers and family. Though we may be saying goodbye to Eldorado, its cozy ambiance still exists at nearby Jokers Wild on Boulder Highway. Thank you for all the years you spent with us at Eldorado, and we hope to see you again at Jokers Wild, where newcomers become regulars in no time, and team members greet customers by name.

There’s a good chance that DeSimone Gaming will rebrand the Eldorado. Why? Because the property has no connection with the Eldorado Reno or the Eldorado Casino and Resort in Shreveport. Both properties were at one point owned by Eldorado Resorts which merged with Caesars Entertainment and took over the ‘Caesars’ name. They’ve since sold the Eldorado in Shreveport to Maverick Gaming.

For now, no information on the timeframe for DeSimone Gaming to take over operation. DeSimone Gaming has an interesting background that’s worth discussing in detail. Look for an article coming soon!

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