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Closed/Renamed Las Vegas Casinos Since 2000

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Las Vegas is in a constant state of change. Time marches on. Casinos can only last so long before they close their doors. Their fate can be loud when they are imploded, or quiet when they simply slip into the hands of new ownership. New buildings are raised. Names are changed. Since the new millennium, a total of 38 casinos have met their end in Las Vegas (not including North Las Vegas or surrounding towns). For us casino chip collectors, that means chips that were once easily had for a dollar at the tables are now obsolete. Any chips in the cage have been destroyed and only those that made their way out and into the hands of the public can be had -- but usually for a premium. You'll see them posted every day on eBay or Craig's List.

I was looking back at some photos that were taken in 2000 when I was on the Las Vegas Strip. So many of those properties are no more. Gone are the neon signs of the Dessert Inn, Sahara, Aladdin, Stardust, and The New Frontier that lit up The Strip. You look back at those old-time photos of The Strip during the time of Sinatra and The Rat Pack and think of them as so dated, yet my photos from 2000 look just as dated 16 years later. It got me thinking of which casinos are no longer around, and more importantly, which $1 casino chips have become obsolete in that short time.

Below is a list of those 38 casinos followed by the most recent $1 chips used when they closed. You'll even notice that some casinos have changed hands more than once during that time. The next time you're in Las Vegas and think to yourself, "this casino will be here for years and years", think again. I've visited all of these casinos, except the Klondike Inn and Vacation Village. So many stories and good times...

1. Aladdin - Closed 2007. Became Planet Hollywood.
2. Barbary Coast - Closed 2007. Became Bill's Gambling Hall & Saloon.
3. Barcelona - Closed 2009. Demolished.
4. Bill's Gambling Hall & Saloon - Closed 2013. Became The Cromwell.
5. Boardwalk - Closed 2006. Demolished.
6. Bourbon Street - Closed 2005. Demolished.
7. Castaways - Closed 2004. Demolished.
8. Casuarina - Closed 2013. Became the Max.
9. Desert Inn - Closed 2000. Demolished.
10. Fitzgerald's - Closed 2012. Became The D.
11. The New Frontier - Closed 2007. Demolished.
12. Gold Spike - Casino closed 2013.
13. Horseshoe Club - Closed 2004. Became Binion's.
14. Hotel San Remo - Closed 2006. Became Hooters.
15. Imperial Palace - Closed 2012. Became The Quad.
16. Klondike Inn - Closed 2006. Demolished.
17. Las Vegas Club - Closed 2015. Being refurbished.
18. Las Vegas Hilton - Closed 2012. Became LVH.
19. LVH - Closed 2013. Became Westgate.
20. Lady Luck - Closed 2006. Became Downtown Grand.
21. Nevada Palace - Closed 2008. Became Eastside Cannery.
22. The Quad - Closed 2014. Became The Linq.
23. The Regent - Closed 2002. Became The Rampart.
24. The Resort at Summerlin - Closed 2000. Became The Regent.
25. Riviera - Closed 2015. Demolished.
26. Sahara - Closed 2011. Became the SLS.
27. Santa Fe - Closed 2001. Became Santa Fe Station.
28. Showboat - Closed 2001. Became Castaways.
29. Silver Saddle - Closed 2016. Demolished.
30. Slots-A-Fun - Table games closed. Slots only.
31. South Coast - Closed 2006. Became South Point.
32. Sports World Casino - Closed 2001. Demolished.
33. Stardust - Closed 2006. Demolished.
34. Terrible's - Closed 2013. Became Silver Sevens.
35. Vacation Village - Closed 2002. Demolished.
36. Western - Closed 2012. Demolished.
37. Westward Ho - Closed 2005. Demolished.
38. Wildfire - Table games closed. Slots only.

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Some casinos saw the light at the end of the tunnel and decided to commemorate their closing by issuing special chips in the hopes that many would be kept as souvenirs by patrons making one last visit and recalling all of the memories they might have made in that property over the years. Before the Horseshoe Club sold to Becky Binion to be renamed Binion's, they issued a 6-chip set depicting Benny and some of the iconic images of Downtown Vegas and old Las Vegas when Benny opened one of the first "carpet joints" in town.

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The Stardust also issued a $1 chip commemorating their 48 year run. One memory I have from the Stardust was during a World Series over 20 years ago. A buddy and I were watching the game in the sports bar. One of us would watch the game while the other ran off to play in the pit. I saved our table while my buddy went to play blackjack. Upon his return he tells me that two hot young girls were playing alone at the table he joined. They were making very odd bets -- sometimes $37, $82, $221, etc. -- but each time the dealer had to restack their bets because they were not putting the lower denominations on top and the higher denominations on the bottom as required. After half a shoe, one of the girls asked my buddy, "What do all the different colors mean?" Apparently they had no idea that each chip was a different value! I'll always remember that story when I think of the Stardust.

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