The 41-year-old Western Casino in downtown Las Vegas is closing.
“Due to decreased demand at this location, Tamares Real Estate will be closing the Western Casino, effective Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, for an indefinite period of time and will review redevelopment plans,” Jonathan Jossel, Tamares’ director of Las Vegas properties, said Tuesday in a statement. “While obviously fully engaged in our exciting renovation of the Plaza Hotel and Casino, we now also need to begin to consider redevelopment options for this and our other properties.”
Tamares runs the Plaza, Western and Las Vegas Club Hotel. The Plaza recently reopened after a $35 million renovation.
Up to 90 casino workers could lose their jobs. Employees at the Plaza and Las Vegas Club will not be affected, Tamares executives said, and laid-off Western workers could be offered jobs at those properties.
The Western was built in 1970 on an entire city block of Fremont Street between Eighth and Ninth streets and includes 15,000 square feet of gaming space. Known for cheap slots and table games, it has been “losing money every day” for some time, casino veteran and Tamares consultant Anthony Santo has said.
The casino and cafe are run down. Cigarette burns and beer stains mar game tables, and police often congregate outside.
Tamares officials did not elaborate on their plans for the property. It is unclear whether the casino will be repurposed or refurbished.
“We remain extremely confident about the long-term success of downtown Las Vegas. The closure of the Western does not change the commitment Tamares has to the area,” Jossel said. “In fact, just the opposite is true. We believe that the ongoing redevelopment of the nearby East Fremont Street district and other exciting downtown developments and partnerships will continue to enhance the area around the Western, and we look forward to future growth.”