The Nevada Gaming Control Board has authorized gaming giant Mariott International to open an ephemeral casino in Clarck County. Under local regulations, Mariott International is required to offer gaming for at least eight hours every 18 months. Although this facility is not exactly to the liking of the gaming industry regulator. Nevertheless, the operator continues to take advantage of this option to avoid losing its license.
Nevada gaming regulator gives pop-up casino the green light
Nevada gaming regulators have given Mariott International the green light to open a temporary casino. The establishment will open an eight-hour pop-up casino in Clarck County. The Silver State gaming regulator has authorized construction of the ephemeral casino on the corner of the street that once housed “The Beach”, the famous nightclub. It will open on May 23 at 6am. It’s worth noting that the gaming legislation applicable in Clarck County has clearly contributed to the opening of this Mariott International pop-up casino.
The legislation in force prescribes specific provisions for zoned land. These stipulate that land zoned for gaming must offer gaming for a minimum of eight hours, and this after a minimum interval of 18 months, i.e. a year and a half. Any breach of this rule will result in sanctions by the authorities. The company holding the operating license, or the landowner, risks having its authorization withdrawn.
In short, the plot of land for which the gaming license has been obtained must be developed to a certain extent. In this way, it is common to observe the opening of pop-up casinos or temporary casinos. These gambling establishments must be open for at least eight hours every year and a half, in accordance with Clarck County regulations. This allows property owners to retain their unlimited gaming license for the parcel of land concerned.
For its part, operator Mariott International will comply with Clarck County regulations and open a pop-up casino on the site housing the former discotheque and very popular “The Beach”. The Mariott pop-up casino will feature the minimum number of slot machines required for an unrestricted license, totalling 16. The Mariott pop-up casino will be managed and operated by a subsidiary of Century Gaming Technologies, United Coin Machine Co.
Nevada Gaming Commission issues warning to gaming operator Mariott International
In an address to Mariott International, Nevada’s gaming regulator warned the gaming operator. This was on the occasion of the authorization for the opening of its ephemeral casino. The regulator reminded Dennis Neilander, the lawyer representing Mariott International, of the fragility of his unrestricted license. Here, the regulator is taking aim at Mariott’s attitude, which exploits loopholes in the regulations on land zoned for gaming. It’s also a way for the gaming regulator to point out the risk of loss of license that constantly hangs over the famous gaming operator.
It’s worth noting, however, that this is only the 10th time in the last 17 years that an ephemeral casino has opened on the empty 365 Convention Center site off Paradise Road. According to the Ombudsman, this statistic reveals what appears to be a lack of use or exploitation of this parcel of land.
Mariott International representative Dennis Neilander attempted to provide the Nevada regulator with some information in response to his warning. According to Neilander, the gaming operator, which also owns several hotels, plans to develop a property on the aforementioned parcel of land. Mariott’s ambition is to combine the 5 hotels it owns and operates into a single, large gaming resort. And the site chosen to house this development is the parcel of land around the corner from what used to be the famous “The Beach” library. Dennis Neilander puts the Covid-19 pandemic into perspective, however. According to the Mariott International representative, the operator’s plans were thwarted by the pandemic’s antics, and the economic consequences that followed.
Far from satisfied by Neilander’s intervention, the Gaming Commission went further. It wanted to know more from the lawyer about the progress of the operator’s various properties in the region. This question was not answered by Dennis Neilander. The operator’s representative refrained from divulging any information about negotiations with gaming suppliers. He put forward the argument of the confidentiality or non-disclosure clause that binds Mariott International to its various partners.
Covid-19 is not the only obstacle to Mariott’s project. Mariott is not the sole owner of the land on which the project is to be built. There is a space on the plot belonging to another private individual. This space houses Pierro’s Italian kitchen. This space has belonged to the same owner for almost thirty years. So, with that in mind, imagine how difficult it would be to convince this owner to sell his property.
The pop-up casino site has quite a history
The history of the pop-up casino site begins in 1979, when the New Orleans-themed casino was developed. The casino was then called “The Deville”. Although the entire casino infrastructure and organization had been put in place, the establishment had never been licensed. The authorities never granted it a gaming license. The situation persisted until its former owner sold the establishment to a pharmaceutical manufacturer, Irving Brand. The latter encountered the same difficulty in obtaining a license for the site. He too eventually sold the site.
Later, the site became a popular racing venue. The establishment was called “Sports of Kings”. It was owned by 2 brothers. Following a management problem, the establishment went bankrupt. This was in the 90s. “The Beach”, which later replaced “Sports of Kings”, was a famous and trendy nightclub in the 90s. It attracted many visitors with its fascinating views and imported sand.
“The Beach continued to shine throughout the decade until the early 2000s. The nightclub’s media appeal gradually began to wane. This is not uncommon in the entertainment industry. The establishment had faced numerous competitors, such as Mandalay Bay in 1999. Despite the inevitability of bankruptcy looming on the horizon, “The Beach” nevertheless held on for some time. Unfortunately, it finally threw in the towel in 2006.
Since then, the area has grown rapidly, and the days of “Sport of Kings” and “The Beach” were soon doubled. On Convention Center Drive, the Las Vegas Visitors Authority and Convention built a billion-dollar convention center. At the same time, the main convention center in the area, on the other side of Paradise Road, is in need of renovation at an estimated cost of $600 million.
The likelihood of a full-time casino in the region is almost non-existent
By all accounts, there’s little chance of a full-time casino opening in the region, at least for the time being. However, things could quickly change for the better. This possibility of developing the region’s gaming industry is very well perceived by operator Mariott International. This justifies the fact that it has continued to open short-lived casinos in the area every 18 months for the past 17 years. The gaming operator is just trying to keep the area zoned for gaming.
Mariott International has a very broad range of activities. It operates 5 hotels and 1,000 hotel rooms in the region. Some of the region’s hotel brands include its name, in addition to other names in the hospitality sector such as Residence Inn, Courtyard, Renaissance and Springhill Suites. Mariott is in a somewhat delicate situation. The gaming operator fears that the value of its parcel of land will fall considerably as soon as no more gaming licenses are purchased from it.