To preserve its license

Nevada Gaming Commission approves Marriott's pop-up casino, set to exist for only eight hours on May 23

Street view of former The Beach site, at Paradise Road and Convention Center Drive.
Reading time 1:34 min

After receiving approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board earlier this month, Marriott International has now secured approval on Thursday from the Gaming Commission to open a "pop-up" casino that will exist for only eight hours on May 23, in a tent on a street corner near the Las Vegas Convention Center, at the former site of the The Beach nightclub, at Paradise Road and Convention Center Drive.  

The tent will open beginning at 6 a.m. and will feature 16 slot machines. It will be operated by Century Gaming Technologies subsidiary United Coin Machine (UCM). The pop-up casino will exist briefly, solely for the purpose of preserving a grandfathered gaming license acquired by the operator when it bought the 1.35-acre plot on which The Beach Nightclub once stood. This is the 10th time in 17 years that the temporary set-up of 16 slot machines is taking place.

Under state and Clark County regulations, a company must offer public gaming for at least eight hours in order to maintain a license. The county statute says that to maintain a grandfathered license, active gaming must occur at least once every 18 months, while the state restriction is to provide it every two years. Sixteen slots are the minimum permitted under these rules.

However, the Nevada Gaming Commission on Thursday told Marriott’s legal representative that preserving the license can’t go on indefinitely, and the company needs to move toward a definitive plan, as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal

Dennis Neilander, an attorney representing Marriott, said the company has been stalled in its efforts to develop the property because of the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and the rough economy. He said Marriott could not give the status of negotiations with potential developers of the property because of a non-disclosure agreement.

Marriott operates around 1,000 rooms at five hotel properties in close proximity to the lot where The Beach once stood. Neilander said there is a plan to consolidate these properties into one resort across 16 acres, which would include the Beach site. But if the gaming license were to lapse, the land would lose value. 

Neilander said the company has been required to maintain its gaming license since The Beach closed in 2006. Marriott oversees hotels using its Marriott, Courtyard, Residence Inn, Renaissance, and Springhill Suites brands, all under Marriott's control.

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