We love pop-up casinos!
No, that’s not what they’re called officially, but just play along.
Recently, temporary casinos opened at the former sites of the Las Vegas Club and Mermaids in order to meet gaming requirements to extend the licenses associated with these demolished venues.
For exactly eight hours each.
The sites are now part of the construction site of a new resort, Circa Las Vegas, so guests got the chance to be the first to gamble as the new casino. Sort of.
Here’s the temporary casino at the Las Vegas Club, open for a day on June 11, 2019.
Each pop-up casino had exactly 16 video poker machines.
Las Vegas Club and Mermaids closed back in 2016, but the current owners, Greg and Derek Stevens, need to keep the gaming licenses active, so they get to indulge in this fun (but expensive) ritual.
Here’s a look inside the miniature casino at the Las Vegas Club site.
We say “expensive” because these pop-up casinos cost $50,000-$60,000 to set up and operate for a day. Century Gaming is the go-to vendor for such temporary casinos around town. The money wagered in the machines goes to them, not the company that arranges for the pop-up casino.
After the first day, on June 12, 2019, all the machines were moved a few feet away to where Mermaids used to serve its infamous deep fried Oreos. We know, because we had the last one ever served there. We still don’t feel quite right.
For whatever reason, people don’t tend to flock to these pop-up casinos. The pay tables aren’t great, but they aren’t horrible.
Just five people played on the machines at the first location, and about the same played the second day, reportedly.
Let’s look inside the Mermaids pop-up casino for no good reason other than for posterity.
We love them, however, and have yet to lose when playing at a temporary casino. In fact, at the Mermaids location, we hit two four-of-a-kinds and walked away with $100 in profit.
The real question, of course, is were we among the last to play at Mermaids or among the first to play at Circa?
We would be remiss if we didn’t share the latest from the Circa construction site.
Up above, Fremont Street Experience (where we work in digital marketing as our day job) is in the throes of a $32 million renovation of the Viva Vision video screen. Here’s an update on the progress of that project as well. Don’t you know this blog at all?
Pop-up casinos are quirky part of Las Vegas casino culture.
While we think they’re sort of dumb and a waste of time and money, we will rarely turn down the chance to gamble outside and stick it to The Man with a win.