Casinos for youGaming regulators in the Silver State have given Marriott International the thumbs up to open an eight-hour pop-up casino in Clark County. The temporary casino will be live at the street corner that formerly hosted the once-famous The Beach nightclub.
Marriott International has won the go-ahead to open a pop-up casino on May 23rd from 6:00 am at the site where the former nightclub, The Beach, was located. This aligns with the grandfathered casino’s non-restricted license it qualifies for, thanks to Clark County’s most intriguing gaming law nationwide.
The said unconventional Las Vegas Culture and County law stipulates that land zoned for gaming must offer gaming for a minimum of eight hours every one and a half years (18 months). Failing to abide by this regulation means that the license-holding company or landowner risks losing their grandfathered and unrestricted gaming license in Clark County. Thus, pop-up casinos typically emerge owing to this regulation so that real-estate owners can preserve their unrestricted gaming license for the parcel of land.
Additionally, to abide by Clark County’s regulations for land zoned for gaming, the Marriott pop-up casino will feature 16 slot machines, the minimum number required for a non-restricted license. United Coin Machine Co, a subsidiary of Century Gaming Technologies, will be responsible for operating the pop-up casino.
A Warning From the Nevada Gaming Commission
While Nevada’s Gaming Commission recently greenlit the Marriott pop-up casino, it issued a stern warning to the gaming company’s representative, attorney Dennis Neilander. Without mincing words, the Commission informed Neilander that its non-restricted license cannot hold water indefinitely. So, eventually, something will have to give.
The ombudsman’s hard stance perhaps stems from the fact that this is the 10th time in 17 years that a pop-up casino will occupy the empty spot at 365 Convention Center near Paradise Road.
Marriott, which owns and operates five hotels on 16 acres within the larger area, has a plan that could consolidate all five hotels into a larger gambling resort. And so, Mr. Neilander informed the gaming watchdog that Marriott initially intended to develop the property at the site. However, the plans were hampered mainly by the COVID-19 pandemic and the harsh economic times it underwent as a result.
But then, when the Commission asked Attorney Neilander about the progress of Marriott properties in the area, he declined to disclose any negotiations with potential developers as he was bound by an active Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). Still, from the look of things, Marriott seems to have a well-laid-out plan.
That said, one hindrance to Marriott’s plans could be the space in which Pierro’s Italian Cuisine sits. It is the only spot not owned by Marriott and has maintained the same ownership since 1987. So, as you’d imagine, it may not be easy convincing an owner who has held that tag for more than three decades to sell up.
A Brief History of the Pop-Up Casino Site
The site was initially developed in 1979 as a New Orleans-themed casino that went by the name The Deville. Even though the building and everything relating to the casino was set up, the establishment never got approval for a license. The problem haunted the owner until he eventually sold to a pharmaceutical manufacturer named Irving Brand, who encountered the same licensing problem and eventually sold.
Before the space was baptized The Beach, it held a popular racebook dubbed the Sports of Kings, owned by two British brothers, after going live in 1992. Unfortunately, the sport of Kings collapsed due to underfunding as the two brothers were unable to sustain the costs of running the racebook. In case you didn’t know, The Beach was a wildly popular nightclub back in the 90s, and besides the fascinating sight, it featured imported sand.
It experienced a period of booming in that decade, but after ushering in the new millennia, its hype started to fizzle down, an occurrence that is pretty common in this industry. This was primarily because the establishment received stiff competition from other beaches, such as Mandalay Bay (1999). Nevertheless, it held on for as long as it could before eventually closing shop in 2006, with the promise that new developments were right on the horizon.
Since going from the Sports of Kings to The Beach, the area has had new developments. For instance, the Las Vegas Convention and the Visitors Authority built a $1 billion Convention Center across the Convention Center Drive. At the same time, its main Convention Center, which is primed for a $600 million facelift, is situated across Paradise Road.
Are There Plans to Develop a Full-Time Casino In the Area?
The short answer to that question is simply no, at least in the interim. That said, things could change fast, and it perhaps explains why Marriott has continued to offer a pop-up casino in this neighborhood every 18 months for the past 17 years, to keep the land zoned for gaming.
Currently, Marriott operates about five hotels and 1,000 hotel rooms in the area. Some of the hotel brands in the area include Marriott, Courtyard, Residence Inn, Renaissance, and Springhill Suites. It’s worth pointing out, however, that the overriding fear of Marriott is that the value of its land could drastically diminish once it no longer has a gaming license attached to it.
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