Pop-up casino opens for 8 hours at former Moulin Rouge
The trailer with 15 slot machines popped up once again today on the site of the historic Moulin Rouge near downtown Las Vegas.
But unlike in past years when owners set up the makeshift casino to keep alive the property's unrestricted gaming license, people showed up.
By 10 a.m., more than two dozen people had stopped by to give the slots a spin in the trailer off Bonanza Road, near Martin Luther King Boulevard.
"We've never had a crowd before," said Dennis J. DeLaHunt, president of one of the real estate brokers that owns the property.
The players included Tom Hemerle and Pete Schemberger, of Milwaukee, who heard about the opening via news reports during breakfast.
"We've been coming (to Las Vegas) since 1960, and we're real nostalgia buffs," Schemberger said.
The Moulin Rouge, which became Las Vegas' first integrated casino in 1955, burned down in 2003. The property went into foreclosure in 2009.
But the casino still carries an unrestricted gaming license, which grants future owners permission to run a full-service casino without a hotel. Nevada stopped issuing those licenses in the early 1990s.
In order to keep the grandfathered license, the Moulin Rouge is required to operate at least 15 slot machines for eight hours every two years.
This year, the temporary casino was set to stay open until 2 p.m.