The Oldest Casinos In Las Vegas

The 10 Oldest Casinos In Vegas

Have you ever wondered what is the oldest casino in Las Vegas? You’d be surprised to learn that gambling has been synonymous with the city of Las Vegas ever since the inception of the first settlement way back in 1905. This means that gambling in Las Vegas has existed for nearly 120 years, making the Sin City the only of its kind.

With this information in mind, it is only right for one to wonder what are the oldest casinos in Las Vegas. From popular casino establishments such as Caesars Palace to lesser-known resorts such as Circus Circus Las Vegas, we give you a list of the 10 oldest casinos in Las Vegas.

  1. The LINQ Hotel & Casino – 1972

The origins of LINQ Hotel & Casino can be traced way back to 1959 when it was opened and known as the Flamingo Capri Motel. What is interesting about this story is that at that time, the Flamingo Capri Motel was named after the legendary Flamingo Hotel and Casino, as it was part of the original property of The Flamingo. 

It wasn’t until 1972 that the casino was added to the property, where after just several years the Flamingo Capri was rebranded into the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino, an Asian-themed resort that operated under that name until 2012 when it was turned into The Quad Resort and Casino.

The LINQ Hotel & Casino that we know today was established in 2014, the final (hopefully) rebranding. Given that the origins of this hotel and casino resort can be traced to 1959, LINQ Hotel & Casino takes the 10th spot on our oldest casinos in Las Vegas list.

  • Location: 3535 South Las Vegas
  • Total Gaming Space: 32,890 sq ft (3,056 m²)
  1. Circus Circus Las Vegas – October 18, 1969

What makes the story of Circus Circus Las Vegas so unique is the fact that this is one of the rare resorts that was actually launched as a casino first, rather than as a hotel. And while this does add flair to the storyline of Circus Circus, in reality, it was a bad decision from a financial point of view as the lack of rooms deterred high rollers.

The hotel was only added a couple of years later when the owner of the Circus Circus, Jay Sarno, took a credit from the Teamsters Pension Fund. However, considering the criminal investigation against the Teamsters Pension Fund, Sarno himself was investigated by the government and ended up selling the Circus Circus just a couple of years later.

Regardless, the official opening date for the Circus Circus Las Vegas is October 18, 1969.

  • Location: 2880 South Las Vegas Boulevard
  • Total Gaming Space: 123,928 sq ft (11,513.3 m2)
  1. Caesars Palace – 5th August 1966

One of the most legendary casino resorts on this list, and one of the most recognizable casinos on the planet, Caesars Palace is another casino resort established by Jay Sarno. The 7th oldest casino in Las Vegas, Jay Sarno built Caesars Palace with the goal of providing guests with a unique experience reminiscent of the Roman Empire.

One of the largest casinos in Las Vegas, Caesars Palace dwarfs most casinos in Las Vegas just with its casino portion which clocks at a whopping 24,181 square feet/11, 536.8 square meters. Consequently, the size of this legendary casino, in addition to the unique design, means that Caesars Casino is not just one of the oldest Vegas establishments, but also the top pick for high-rollers to this very day.

  • Location: 3570 South Las Vegas Boulevard
  • Total Gaming Space: 124,181 sq ft (11,536.8 m2)
  1. Planet Hollywood Las Vegas –  1962

Our 6th spot on the list of the oldest casinos in Vegas goes to Planet Hollywood Las Vegas. The story of Planet Hollywood started back in 1962 when it was opened as the legendary Aladdin Hotel and Casino, which itself was opened as the Tallyho. Tallyho attempted to build a hotel as part of the casino, but due to licensing issues the hotel part was never built, and the casino was sold to Milton Prell in 1966.

Consequently, the Tallyho went through a complete rebranding inspired by Arabian Nights and the Middle East, which is why it was named Aladdin by the new owners. Moreover, in 1997 the old Aladdin was demolished and was built again into the new Aladdin, and this lasted until 2007 when it was renamed once again into the Planet Hollywood that we know today.

  • Location: 3667 South Las Vegas Boulevard
  • Total Gaming Space: 60,835 sq ft (5,651.8 m²)
  1. Tropicana Las Vegas – April 4, 1957

The Tropicana Las Vegas, a Cuban-inspired resort, was built by Ben Jaffe in 1957 and it was one of the most luxurious hotels at the peak of its power. As an executive of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach with a keen sense of detail and vast experience in the casino business, Ben Jaffe had a distinct vision to build the most prestigious hotel in Las Vegas, which is why the Tropicana Las Vegas quickly gained a reputation as such.

However, during the late ‘70s, the Tropicana Las Vegas was used by the Kansas City crime syndicate, also known as the Civella crime family, for siphoning money via the cashier through Joe Agosto, the owner and manager of the Folies Bergere show at the hotel. Consequently, this ruined the reputation of the resort for a period of time, yet it managed to get back on its feet and it successfully operates to this day as one of the oldest and most legendary casinos in Vegas.

Unfortunately, as of the 2nd of April, the Tropicana Las Vegas is officially shut down and has closed its doors after 67 years of making history.

  • Location: 3801 South Las Vegas Boulevard
  • Total Gaming Space: 50,000 sq ft (4,600 m²)
  1. Sahara Las Vegas – 7 October, 1952

The 5th spot on the oldest casinos in Vegas list goes to the Sahara Las Vegas which opened more than 67 years ago, or in 1952. Interestingly enough, despite this being one of the oldest casinos on the list, the hotel and the casino have not been working in continuous operation. After it became unprofitable, the Sahara Las Vegas was closed in 2001, and it stayed that way until 2004 when it was reopened once again.

The reopening meant that the trademark Moroccan theme was completely removed and was substituted with a more conventional decor. In recent times, the Sahara was renamed to SLS Las Vegas, a move that was part of the SBE acquisition. Several years later, however, the Meruelo Group obtained the SLS Las Vegas from the SBE and rebranded the hotel and casino back to the legendary Sahara Las Vegas.

  • Location: 2535 South Las Vegas Boulevard
  • Total Gaming Space: 85,000 sq ft (7,900 m²)
  1. Flamingo Las Vegas – 26 December, 1946

One of the most popular Vegas casinos, The Flamingo is known for its infamous ties with the underworld, namely Bugsy Siegel. More specifically, Siegel and his business partners took over The Flamingo while it was in the final stages of construction and invested millions of dollars to open one of the biggest hotel and casino resorts in Las Vegas.

However, Siegel’s involvement in The Flamingo was short-lived, being that not long after the opening of the hotel and casino he was assassinated under mysterious circumstances. Soon after, Gus Greenbaum and Moe Sedway, two business magnates of another popular Vegas hotel resort, El Cortez, took over The Flamingo. However, that transition was also short-lived, as up until 2024 this legendary hotel resort changed ownership several more times.

  • Location: 3555 South Las Vegas Boulevard
  • Total Gaming Space: 72,299 sq ft (6,716.8 m²)
  1. Golden Nugget Las Vegas – August 30, 1946

Golden Nugget Las Vegas was established and owned by the infamous mobster Guy McAfee and has been running since 1946. A popular segment of the Las Vegas Fremont Street Experience, The Golden Nugget as its most commonly referred to, has also changed a lot of owners over the years, which is not surprising since it seems that that is pretty common for casinos in Las Vegas.

This list of owners includes prominent business magnates such as Steve Wynn and Jackie Gaughan of the El Cortez casino and hotel. This casino is even an inspiration for the popular TV series on Fox called The Casino, as it was based on the Poster Financial Group which purchased the Golden Nugget Las Vegas in 2023 and did a complete makeover of the original establishment.

  • Location: 129 Fremont Street
  • Total Gaming Space: 38,000 sq ft (3,500 m²)
  1. El Cortez – 7 November, 1941

Though it takes the 2nd spot on our list of oldest casinos in Vegas, El Cortez is actually known as the oldest continuously operating casino in Las Vegas. This means that El Cortez has been operating continuously for more than 77 years, and what is particularly exciting is that it is one of the handful of casinos to have never changed its exterior, and the casino even kept the original ranch-themed design and architecture, despite the sign being re-modernized in 1952.

Built in 1941 by J.C. Grayson and Marion Hicks, El Cortez enjoys a reputation as the first big casino and hotel resort in downtown Las Vegas. A fun fact about this casino is that it was purchased by the infamous mobsters Meyer Lanky, Bugsy Siegel, Moe Sedway, and Gus Greenbaum for $600,000, making it yet another casino that was at some point owned by the American Mafia.

  • Location: 600 East Fremont Street
  • Total Gaming Space: 45,300 sq ft (4,210 m²)
  1. Golden Gate Hotel and Casino – January 13, 1906

The history behind the oldest casino in Vegas is interesting, to say the least, as the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino was established way back in 1906. Even more interesting is the fact that the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino even operated a casino during its first years. However, in 1909, the government declared gambling illegal in Las Vegas, forcing the Golden Gate to cease its gambling operations and close the casino.

This all changed in 1931 when gambling was reinstated in Las Vegas, allowing Golden Gate to resume its gambling operations, and consequently, making this particular establishment the oldest of its kind. Another indicator of how old is this casino is the fact the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino has the first telephone number in Las Vegas, as well as being the first establishment in the city to install plumbing.

  • Location: 1 Fremont Street
  • Total Gaming Space: 12,243 sq ft (1,137.4 m²)

Final Thoughts

Though there are 175 casinos in the city of Las Vegas at the moment of writing, these are the 10 oldest and as such, most legendary and unique casino establishments that started it all. Consequently, if you ever find yourself in Las Vegas, definitely make an effort to visit one of these legendary casinos as you will witness the history of Sin City first-hand.


What is the oldest casino in Las Vegas?

The oldest casino in Las Vegas is the Golden Gate which was opened in 1906.

What is the oldest operating casino in Las Vegas?

The oldest continuously operating casino in Las Vegas is El Cortez which operates unchanged for more than 77 years.

What is the second oldest casino in Las Vegas?

The second oldest casino in Las Vegas, behind the Golden Gate, is El Cortez.

How many casinos are in Las Vegas?

There are a total of 175 casinos in Las Vegas at the moment of writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *