Gambling is expected to return to the site of the historic Moulin Rouge Casino — at least for a day.
Rob Woodson, of United Coin, told members of the state Gaming Control Board on Wednesday that Moulin Rouge property owner Olympic Coast Investment was negotiating with an unnamed New York company to acquire the site at Bonanza Road between Martin Luther King Boulevard and H Street. Woodson said the deal is expected to close within four to eight months.
In the meantime, Woodson is seeking permission from state regulators to operate a temporary casino site in a tent on the property on June 19. In order to maintain the site for potential development of a gaming operation, city ordinances require that casino gambling occur there for at least eight hours every two years. United Coin is involved because one of its specialties is to set up temporary casino sites in tents to preserve gaming licenses.
The Moulin Rouge became Las Vegas' first racially integrated casino in 1955. The property was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992, but buildings on the 15-acre site were destroyed by fire in 2003 and the area has since become a community blight. Lien-holder Olympic acquired the site from Moulin Rouge Properties in 2009 after that company fell into bankruptcy in 2008.
Although the historic building is gone, the site’s unrestricted gaming license is valuable because it carries the grandfathered right to offer more than 15 slot machines without having a hotel on the property.
After hearing Woodson's request, Gaming Control Board members voted unanimously to recommend that it be approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission. The commission is expected to consider the request at its May 17 meeting.
Board member A.G. Burnett said he had planned to vote against the recommendation for temporary licensing, but changed his mind when he learned that a new owner could acquire it.