Gaming Business

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

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

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.

Todd Shriber

Gaming Financials, Casino Business----Todd Shriber got his start in financial markets as a reporter with Bloomberg News. Later, he became a trader at a Southern California-based long/short hedge fund, where he specialized in trading sector and international ETFs leading up to and during the financial crisis. Currently, he analyzes, researches, and writes on ETFs for a variety of Web-based publications and financial services firms. Shriber has been quoted in Barron's, CNBC.com, and The Wall Street Journal. His work has been published on sites such as Benzinga, ETF Daily News, ETF Trends, MarketWatch, Fox Business, and Nasdaq.com. He joined the Casino.org news writing team in 2019, and lives in Southern California, where he enjoys golf and taking his black lab to the dog park. When in Las Vegas, he likes to wager on college football, the NBA, three-card poker, and roulette, even though he knows better. Email: todd.shriber@casino.org

View Comments

  • When new management opens the Eldo, I hope they are stricter on how much a person gambles in ratio to the free drinks. The Eldo was a major spot for all the town drunks. The patrons sat at the bar 24/7 getting loaded on $1 in the machine. I hope they keep the small town flavor and put a balanced mix of slots and video poker.

  • I think the next Boyd property to be sold is Eastside Cannery. The property was pretty much emptied shortly after Boyd bought it and The Cannery, pushing patrons over to Sam's Town, next door. I don't think that Main Street Station will be sold, but Boyd has done stranger things before.

  • I’m glad they are going to re-open it I have been going there for years I love it such a cute little hometown casino . And the food was always good .

Share
Published by
Todd Shriber