Overview of the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas
The Golden Nugget was one of the first casino resorts in Las Vegas. This resort is based in downtown Vegas and is not on the Strip, instead being located on the famous Freemont Street. This was the first casino which Steve Wynn was the majority owner of, and the sale of this casino helped propel him to prominence on the casino scene in the 1980s onwards. With more than 2000 rooms, the Golden Nugget is a big resort which attracts plenty of repeat business despite being a cab-ride away from the attractions of the Strip.
This article takes you through all you need to know about the Golden Nugget. First of all below you will find a little more on the history of this resort casino, as well as the main features which define it. After that the casino is the main focus, with the table games, slots, poker room and sports book all covered. While there is no specific show at this casino, the Freemont street experience is an attraction in its own right, and is covered at the bottom of this page.
Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino – History and Features
While this casino first opened its doors in August 1946, it did not reach its current capacity of 2419 rooms until 2007, when the most recent owners – Landry’s Inc. – completed a renovation project. The earlier history of this resort is fascinating, if only to chart the rise of Steve Wynn, who currently owns the Wynn / Encore resort and was involved in the building of many others. Wynn started as a minority shareholder, but increase that to a majority holding in 1973. He then developed the first hotel tower on the property, which opened 4 years later. This property, along with several others, was sold to the MGM Mirage in 2000.
This casino had the world’s largest real gold nugget on display until 2013. This was a huge 875 ounce monster which was known as the ‘Hand of Faith’. The Golden nugget sign was another iconic symbol which many people closely associate with Las Vegas. This was removed in 1984, though can still be found in a graveyard for neon signs which you can have excursions too.
You will find several excellent quality restaurants in this casino. These include Red Sushi, Chart House, Vic and Antony’s Stakehouse and Grotto Ristorante. The main attraction here is a huge aquarium which contains sharks.
Freemont street recently upgraded to compete better with the attractions of the Strip. This is now considered to be a must see ‘experience’ by many visitors. With the recession over, and more people checking out the area, the attractions of the Golden Nugget can only generate more revenue over the coming years.
The Casino at the Golden Nugget
In total, the gaming space here is 38,000 square feet. This is a lot smaller than casinos at equivalent sized venues on the Strip. You’ll find all the familiar gaming types here, and you’ll find them in the same proportions as elsewhere too.
This means that slots dominate the floor space. The casino may be old, though the slots are getting more and more complex and advanced. These include some of the latest games with interactive game-line video bonus rounds and movie clips and tie-ins. If you prefer the more relaxing games with the big jackpots, there are plenty of less intensive video slots and 3-reel machines to choose from. You will also find a wide range of Video poker games on offer at the Golden Nugget, including both single and multi-hand variations.
Table games are focused on Blackjack, Roulette and the different forms of Casino Poker. The tables are laid out in the traditional ‘pit’ feeling, in squares or circles with the narrow walkways snaking around them. You can also find Craps and Baccarat tables here. The minimum bets for most table games are around $5.
The poker room at the Golden Nugget is famous for hosting NBC’s Poker After Dark show, where pros clash in big pots. There are 13 tables, making this mid-sized by Vegas standards – and the room is smoke-free. You’ll find cash games on offer here around the clock, and tournaments run six times daily too. One notable quirk in the tournament schedule is the 5 card PLO high tournament every Tuesday evening.
Topping the list, the Golden Nugget has a race and sports book complete with giant Video wall and more TVs per square foot than anyone else in Nevada.
Entertainment at the Golden Nugget
This casino does not have the stars singing or Cirque de Soleil performing to bring in the crowds. In fact the main attraction is outside the door. Freemont street has been covered with a giant screen with LED light shows and music kicking off every half an hour. Bars, Buskers, Street Performers and Elvis impersonators make this into a crazy atmosphere. If you are feeling brave then there is a death slide ride from one end of the street to the other starting 300 feet up.