The Historical Castaways Casino
Castaways Casino first opened its doors in 1963. Located in Paradise, Nevada, the site was first known as the Red Rooster Night Club that was quite infamous for its inclusion in many popular blues songs. After a fire gutted the premises, it was rebuilt and eventually taken over by the Sans Souci Hotel next door and it officially reopened as the Sans Souci Hotel in 1957.
The Renaming And Further Development
Six years later the venue was renamed to the Castaway Hotel and Casino, until it started experiencing financial difficulty and it was once again renamed to Oliver’s New Castaway Casino. The venue gained notoriety locally for its impressive 1500 gallon aquarium instillation that featured a regular show of nude woman swimming in the waters.
Another notable attraction was the Gateway to Luck structure. This historically significant wooden temple was officially known as the St. Louis Jain Temple. It was built in 1904 as part of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and moved to the venue. It has since been reconstructed in the Jain Centre of Southern California. In 1970 the venue was famously sold to millionaire Howard Hughes. The venue stayed operational as Castaways until its closure in 1987. Developer Steve Wynn purchased the property and reopened castaways in 1989 under the new name, Mirage. The original Castaways featured 1700 rooms with 35000 Square feet of Casino space featuring mechanical slots and a host of gaming tables that featured Black Jack, Craps, Roulette and Poker.
Gaming Licenses And Legal Loopholes
In Las Vegas, in order to open a gambling venue, you will need to be awarded a gaming license from the Nevada gaming commission. To qualify for these licenses is quite an arduous and expensive process. Technically you do not need to be a casino to have an operational gaming license; these licenses also qualify airports and stores to be able to operate on site gambling.
A loophole’s in the law means that once a site has a gaming license, that license will remain in effect on that specific property, no matter what is built there. As long as you make use of the license in a two year period, the license will remain valid and you will be able to operate some kind of casino there. As such, many times land becomes exponentially more valuable for the gaming license in effect on it. This loophole is what has extended the story of the Castaways Casino.
The Castaways Legacy
In 2004, Station Casinos purchased the site of the former Castaways. The venue by this time was falling apart and not making any money. The value that Station casino’s saw, was in the land and the gaming license, not the 19 story, decrepit structure that came with their purchase, the former Castaways Hotel and Casino. In order for them to keep the gaming license, they needed to have been open at least 8 hours in the last two years. This led to a well know story among the locals. Station Casinos razed the venue and parked a trailer on the vacant lot once every two years to operate a few slots and table games in the trailer for 8 hours. Once every two years. And so the Castaway legacy lived on.