Boyd Selling ‘Non-Core’ Eldorado, Venue Company Didn’t Reopen After Pandemic Shutdown

Posted on: December 10, 2020, 06:47h. 

Last updated on: December 11, 2020, 12:32h.

Boyd Gaming is selling the Eldorado Casino in Henderson, Nevada to DeSimone Gaming for an undisclosed sum.

Eldorado Casino
The Eldorado Casino in Henderson, Nevada. Boyd Gaming is selling the venue it calls “non-core.” (Image: Las Vegas Review Journal)

In a statement issued to Las Vegas media outlets, Boyd Vice President of Corporate Communications David Strow described the venue as a “non-core asset.”

As we have continued to grow over the years, this property represented a very modest part of our overall business,” he said.

This year, signs abounded that the Eldorado was low on the operator’s list of priorities. Between May 20 and July, Boyd reopened 26 of its 29 gaming properties across 10 states following the first wave of temporary pandemic closures. Eastside Cannery, Eldorado, and Main Street Station in Southern Nevada were the three that didn’t reopen.

In August, the company submitted paperwork to the city of Henderson, requesting that officials there place Eldorado’s gaming and liquor licenses into non-operational status. They did that while apprising lawmakers that the plan was to keep the venue closed until June 2021. DeSimone plans to restart operations at the venue in spring 2021.

Who Is DeSimone Gaming?

The company acquiring the Eldorado is small, but not new on the Silver State gaming scene.

It’s part of First Federal Realty, a real estate development firm founded in 1996 by Joe DeSimone. The real estate enterprise was in business for nearly two decades before the owner acquired the Railroad Pass Hotel and Casino in Henderson from MGM Resorts International in 2015.

Located near the Hoover Dam, Railroad Pass is the longest continuously operating casino in the country. DeSimone gained a license from the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) several months after buying the venue.

The casino is the epitome of a “locals” destination, as 80 percent of its customers fit that bill and 75 percent are from Boulder City.

In addition to its small but growing gaming exposure, First Federal owns and leases business parks, medical offices, and senior housing developments in Southern Nevada, and has a residential real estate operation in the region.

Busy Boyd

News of the Eldorado Casino sale comes just days after Boyd purchased a 64-acre parcel of land in Elk Grove, Calif., a deal that will advance Wilton Rancheria’s tribal gaming project.

The company didn’t comment on when it will reopen Eastside Cannery or Main Street Station.

Eldorado opened in July 1962 and is relevant in gaming industry history because it’s the first casino Bill and Sam Boyd co-owned.

“It has a colorful history, including being one of the first casinos to market directly to Las Vegas locals, as well as being among the first casino to have female dealers. But what it will be remembered for most of all is the friendly environment that for many became a home away from home,” according to the venue’s website.