06 May 2021 738 Views

A brief history of Vegas’ oldest casino

by James Murphy

Vegas’ streets are embellished with casinos galore, making it clear to see why it’s renowned for being the gambling capital of the world. However, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was Vegas, and even Sin City itself rose from humble beginnings.

Vegas is constantly evolving, implementing bigger and better attractions all the time. But one thing that has remained a constant in the city’s gambling history, and has withstood the test of time, is the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino, which is the oldest casino in Las Vegas.

Today, you can still visit this iconic venue, which has been extensively renovated to bring it firmly into the 21st Century. The expectation of visitors has changed dramatically, most likely influenced by advancements in technology and the rise of online games, such as online casino Slots. The urge to visit the infamous gambling state remains however, meaning that the Golden Gate continues to thrive. To find out more about this formidable gambling establishment, read on.

The rise of the Golden Gate

On the 15th May 1905, the Golden Gate (known as Hotel Nevada at the time) was bought at auction, an event that would lead to the beginning of Las Vegas’ journey towards becoming the most iconic gambling city in the world. One year later, the hotel opened to the public, advertising itself as a premium hotel experience.

Just five years later in 1910, gambling was made illegal in the state of Nevada, and just as the hotel was beginning to establish itself as a gambling venue, it was forced to halt its efforts. Gambling wasn’t made legal again until 1931 and to mark the occasion, the hotel changed its name to ‘Sal Sagev’, which is Las Vegas spelt backwards, and so began an expansive renovation project.

The 1950s

In the 1950s the hotel was thriving, and as a result, in 1955 an Italian investor, Italo Ghelfi, opened a casino on the ground floor of the Sal Sagev, which was named the Golden Gate Casino. Inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the casino followed suit with its contents, such as themed chips and dice, and adorned with images of San Franciscan landmarks and transport.

The 2010s

In 2010, the Golden Gate made history when it lay host to the biggest Roulette bet to be made in Las Vegas’ record. The bet was made by cast members of an MTV series called The Buried Life, who wanted to turn their $125,000 into $1 million, as part of a bucket list item.

In 2021, the Golden Gate undertook one of its most expansive renovation projects, installing new luxury suites along with various other developments, such as a high limit pit. The casino itself was modernised, to include newer technology and enhance the gaming experience of its visitors.

Despite being the smallest hotel on Fremont Street, the Golden Gate still stands as Las Vegas’ oldest and perhaps most historic casino venue. Its reputation continues to attract visitors from all corners of the globe. Will you be planning a visit?


06 December 2022


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