- Boyd Gaming has announced that they are reviving the iconic ‘Stardust’ name for their online casinos in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
- The Stardust Hotel & Casino was at one point the center of the sports betting universe.
- The Stardust was imploded in 2007. Resorts World Las Vegas will open soon on the property formerly occupied by the Stardust.
The Stardust brand is rising from the dead. Unfortunately, the legendary casino and sportsbook at 3000 South Las Vegas Boulevard isn’t coming back to life. The brand, however, will once again be used for Boyd Gaming casino branding only this time it will be for the company’s online platform in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Boyd Gaming along with their partners the FanDuel Group have announced plans to revive the name for their online casinos in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The Stardust branded online casinos will launch in April and a single iOS and Android app will support players in both states. A ‘Coming Soon’ page is already up at www.stardustcasino.com:
Here’s what Boyd Gaming President and CEO Keith Smith said about the return of the Stardust brand:
“For nearly 50 years, the Stardust was one of the most famous casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. And while the resort has been gone for more than a decade, the Stardust brand is still as well-known and popular as ever. We are excited to work with our partners at FanDuel to launch our first real-money online casinos and are confident this legendary brand will give us a significant advantage in connecting with players looking for a distinctive online gaming experience.”
The Stardust Casino will be built on FanDuel’s proprietary front-end, apps and player account management system. Both the Pennsylvania and New Jersey online casinos will be linked to Boyd Gaming’s B Connected player loyalty program. The online casinos in both states are transitioning away from the Betfair Casino branding though the new site will retain many of the same games according to Amy Howe, President of FanDuel Group:
“The new Stardust Casino will retain all of the great games that customers love on Betfair Casino, while incorporating a new stylish look that captures the glitz, glamour and nostalgia of old Las Vegas. Stardust Casino allows us to take a market leading product to the next level, creating a unified platform across New Jersey and Pennsylvania and integrating Boyd Gaming’s B Connected player loyalty program to provide even more value to our customers.”
THE STARDUST BRAND IS SYNONYMOUS WITH SPORTS BETTING
It’s somewhat ironic that the Stardust brand is being revived for an online casino. While the property was well liked and fondly remembered by nostalgic Las Vegas locals it had a much greater significance in sports betting history. It wasn’t the first sportsbook located in a Nevada hotel/casino–that honor went to the legendary Jackie Gaughan who opened the state’s first casino sportsbook at the Union Plaza downtown–but for much of its life it was the center of the sports betting world.
The Stardust sportsbook was originally operated under the watchful eye of Frank ‘Lefty’ Rosenthal–Robert Di Nero’s character in the film Casino was more than loosely based on Rosenthal though the name was changed to Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein. The Stardust sportsbook’s stature really started to grow well after the property’s infamous run-in with Nevada gaming regulators and subsequent purchase by the Boyd family. The team the Boyd’s brought in to run the Stardust sportsbook included Ray Lanzi and Scott Schettler and from that point it was on the way to becoming the most influential bookmaking operation on the planet. Schettler’s book about his life and career entitled We Were Wiseguys And Didn’t Know It is an amazing read for anyone interested in the history of Las Vegas and particularly as it relates to sports betting. You can find the paperback on Amazon.
A few years before the Boyd’s took over the Stardust sportsbook launched a radio show called The Stardust Line that could be heard all over the Western US on 50,000 watt KDWN 720 AM. The show was hosted by Las Vegas radio legend Lee Pete and later my former radio partner John Kelly. Handicapper Andy Iskoe worked with Pete on that show and a later show called Insomniac Sports–I credit listening to Pete and Iskoe on Insomniac Sports broadcasts for getting me involved in sports betting. Pete also worked for a time with football legend Jim Brown. There was shockingly little about the history of KDWN on the Internet so maybe I’ll research it more and write something sometime.
There’s a downright amazing recording on Archive.org of an entire two hour broadcast of the Stardust Sports Line:
There’s also a condensed version of the above broadcast on YouTube:
Here’s a compilation of KDWN station IDs:
If you’re interested in Las Vegas history the entire YouTube channel where I found the above posts is well worth checking out. Some downright amazing clips: