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The Las Vegas Loophole

The Las Vegas Loophole

The gambling capital of the world, the city of Las Vegas, is known for its fast-paced lifestyle, high roller action, fancy parties and enormous casino resorts. There is however a lot more to it than the things you and your friends see when you come visit for a crazy weekend.

Dan Lewis of wrote a highly interesting report about casino gaming licenses and how those are valued at millions of dollars even years after the original place casino closed down.

Station Casinos bought the Castaways Casino, better known by its name The Showboat, under which it operated from 1954 until 2000, in 2004. So far nothing strange had happened, as transactions like this happen fairly frequently, but the reason for this purchase is what makes it interesting. Station Casino never intended to turn Castaways into a fancy resort, restore it or perhaps even expand it.

The only reason Station Casinos purchased this ran down 19-story hotel with 80,000 square foot of gaming was its license. Station paid $33 million for the property, it’s land and the gaming license that came with it, and interestingly enough that last part was the most important one.

While the casino closed in 2005 its license was kept alive by a loophole which stated that gaming had to be offered for at least one day every two years. So while the casino was closed Station Casinos brought in a big trailer to offer slot machine gaming for one day every two year to keep extending its license.

Castaways was rotten away ever so quickly and by January 2006 the hotel was imploded, as Station had made plans to build a $90 million casino with Spanish motif called ‘Castaways Station’. Progress however was never made and eventually Station, struggling they, put the land and its license up for sale for just shy of $40 million.