Las Vegas’ Moulin Rouge to Open Again as Pop-Up Casino

The historic Moulin Rouge Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, pictured during its short existence in 1955, is set to reopen next month for its owner’s biannual temporary casino.

United Coin Machine Co. is the current site owner. It has no plans to redevelop the land on which the short-lived but uniquely important casino stood. 

However, in order to keep its coveted Nevada gaming license, the operator has to open the site as a casino for at least one day every two years. 

The Moulin Rouge was the first racially integrated casino in the U.S. when it opened in 1955. 

Gamblers look set to get their biannual chance to play a few slot spins on the historic site on May 14, a week ahead of the 59th anniversary of the casino’s opening. However, none of the prestige or luxury remains, as the options will be limited to a dozen slots in a mobile trailer on the derelict lot. 

Historic Place 

Although it closed after just six months, many famous stars would grace the Moulin Rouge’s gaming floor.

A biracial lineup of the star-studded Las Vegas scene performed and hung out at the venue during its short tenure. That covered a Who’s Who of happening names at the time, such as Sammy Davis Jr, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Harry Belafonte, and many others. 

The venue also made history five years later in 1960, when the vacant building was used to host the historic agreement that ended segregation in Las Vegas.

By the early 2000s, the site was the scene of several major fires, which destroyed much of the 1950s structure. In 1992, it was placed in the National Register of Historic Places. The historic Moulin Rouge Casino sign was removed, and all that remains of the original casino now is the frame of the roadside sign.

Owner’s Plans 

United Coin Machine Co., under the name Century Gaming Technologies, owns the site today. It recently finalized its application to return with its pop-up casino, as required by its Nevada gaming license conditions. 

The Nevada Gaming Control Board recommended that the pop-up casino go ahead, but the final decision lies with the Nevada Gaming Commission.

The regulatory body will assess the application next month, although it is expected to be a simple approval process.

If it is, the Moulin Rouge site will open for slots gaming on May 14 from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. This is the exact minimum of eight hours of operation as required by the license. 

It will have 14 slot machines in a trailer on the site’s unused parking lot. The last time the pop-up site ran in 2022, it made revenue of $100 over those eight hours. 

Despite the ongoing boom in Las Vegas’ visitation numbers and casino revenues, Century Gaming Technologies and principal investor RAH Capital say they have no immediate plans for the site.

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