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Who Owns Which Casinos in Las Vegas?

By Randy Ray in Las Vegas
| February 23, 2020 7:00 am PDT
Who Owns Which Casinos in Las Vegas

According to the best data I could find on the subject, you can gamble at any of 136 total casinos in Las Vegas.

But they’re not all separate business entities.

In fact, most of them are not individual businesses. Most of the casinos on the Strip are owned by one of four different companies.

Who owns the Las Vegas casinos?

This post offers some answers.

What Constitutes a “Las Vegas Casino”?

Not every business in Las Vegas counts as a casino, and some of the casinos included in that tally of 136 casinos are located just outside the Las Vegas city limits.

When most people think of Las Vegas these days, they think of the Strip, which is in Paradise and Winchester — both unincorporated towns just outside the city limits.

Also, for purposes of this tally, I’m not including small local businesses with a gambling machine or two — you can find plenty of bars and gas stations that fit that criteria. None of them are what I would call a casino, although definitions vary.

Any business with more than 15 slot machines or that offers tables games (like blackjack, craps, or roulette) can safely be included under the category of “casino,” though.

Most of the casinos in Las Vegas are either on (or just off) the Strip or on Boulder Highway. Between just those two locations, you’ll find over 90 of those 136 casinos.

Downtown Las Vegas also has a couple of dozen casinos, and the rest are in North Las Vegas.

Together, Las Vegas casinos generate $10 billion a year in revenue. About two-thirds of that is generated from casinos on the Strip.

MGM Resorts Owns a Lot of Casinos in Las Vegas

Mandalay Bay and MGM Resorts merged nearly 15 years ago to become one of the biggest casino-owning companies in the city. Some (but not all) of the casinos in Las Vegas they own include the following.

  • Aria
  • Bellagio
  • Circus Circus
  • CityCenter
  • Delano
  • Excalibur
  • Luxor
  • Mandalay Bay
  • MGM Grand
  • The Mirage
  • New York New York
  • Park MGM (Used to be the Monte Carlo)
  • Vdara

That’s a huge number of casinos on the Las Vegas Strip for one company to own — almost 25% of the properties on the Strip, in fact.

And since these are some of the largest casinos on the Strip, MGM Resorts controls a larger number of the gambling action than you might expect. They probably account for 40% or 45% of the gambling revenue on the Strip.

In the last couple of years, MGM Resorts has started moving into the online gaming space, too. They recently signed a partnership agreement with Yahoo Sports to provide sports betting functionality.

Caesars Entertainment Is the Other Big Player in Las Vegas Casinos

Caesars Entertainment got big as the result of a merger between Caesars and Harrah’s. They own the following casinos.

  • Bally’s
  • Caesars Palace
  • The Cromwell
  • Flamingo
  • Harrah’s
  • Linq
  • O’Sheas
  • Paris
  • Planet Hollywood
  • Rio Suites
  • Harrah’s in Laughlin

Caesars is the fourth-largest gaming company in the world, and they generate $8.6 billion a year in revenue. Not all of that is generated by their Las Vegas properties, but a huge chunk of it is.

Caesars also owns close to 96 acres of undeveloped land near the Las Vegas Strip. I’m betting that they’ll add more casinos there at some point, but this post is about who owns which casinos in Las Vegas now, not in the future, so I’ll save the speculation for later.

Boyd Gaming Is Probably the Biggest Casino Company You’ve Never Heard Of

Boyd Gaming runs multiple casino properties from its headquarters in Paradise, Nevada. The company makes the bulk of its money from casino gambling, which generates 75% of their revenue.

Boyd Gaming owns the following Las Vegas casinos.

  • Aliante
  • California Casino
  • Cannery Casino
  • Eastside Cannery Casino
  • Eldorado Casino
  • Fremont Hotel and Casino
  • Gold Coast
  • Jokers Wild
  • Main Street Station
  • The Orleans
  • Sam’s Town
  • Suncoast Hotel and Casino

Three of these casinos — California Hotel and Casino, Fremont Hotel and Casino, and Main Street Station — are in Downtown Vegas.

Many of Boyd Gaming’s casinos cater to customers who are interested in spending less money. A lot of their casinos have hotel rooms available at $40 per night, sometimes less. Fremont and Main Street regularly have room rates as low as $30 a night on weeknights.

Boyd Gaming’s casinos cater to a largely locals market, and their odds and payouts are higher than the big corporate casinos on the Strip.

Station Casinos Is the Other Big Casino Owner in Town

The headquarters for Station Casinos is in Summerlin. Station, like Boyd, specializes in offering casino games with great odds to local gamblers. In fact, you can find the best video poker games in town at several of the properties owned by Station Casinos.

They own the following properties.

  • Boulder Station
  • Green Valley Ranch
  • Palace Station
  • Palms Casino Resort
  • Red Rock Resort
  • Santa Fe Station
  • Texas Station
  • Fiesta Henderson
  • Fiesta Rancho
  • Wild Wild West

Perhaps the most notable thing about Station Casinos is the availability of high-paying video poker games that aren’t available at other casinos.

Video poker is one of those games that has a high payback percentage, but it’s only high if you choose the right games with the right pay tables. Station Casinos offer more of these games than almost any other company in Las Vegas.

How do you define a high-payout video poker game?

Generally, I look for games with a payback percentage of 98% or higher.

It won’t take much research on the internet to find out which pay tables and which games you should look for at Station Casinos.

If you combine this low house edge with the rewards you get from joining the slots club, you might even show a small long-term profit playing video poker at Station Casinos.

But you’ll probably not make much of a living from that endeavor.

Golden Entertainment Is Another Player

Golden Entertainment owns the following casinos, but they also operate taverns with slot machines in them. And they provide slots to other businesses.

  • Aquarius Casino Resort
  • Arizona Charlie’s Boulder
  • Arizona Charlie’s Decatur
  • Colorado Belle
  • Edgewater Hotel and Casino
  • Stratosphere Las Vegas

They also own three casinos in Pahrump, Nevada, which is about 60 miles from Vegas.

I have experience at the Stratosphere, by the way, and I recommend checking it out next time you visit Vegas. The rotating restaurant, Top of the World, offers the most breathtaking views of Las Vegas that you could imagine.

You Can Also Find Individual Casinos Owned by (VERY RICH) Individuals

Casino Royale, for example, is owned by Margaret Elardi. She’s in her mid-90s, and her son Tom helps to run the casino. By all accounts, the Elardis are private people. They used to own the Frontier in the 1990s.

El Cortez is owned by Kenny Epstein. It’s one of the smaller casinos in town, but it’s also one of the oldest, having opened in 1941. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

El Cortez is the oldest continually-operating casino in Las Vegas by a far sight — no one else comes close.

Slots-A-Fun is owned by Phil Ruffin. You’ll find it right next to Circus Circus, but you’ll need to be alert — it’s one of the smallest casinos in town. Slots-A-Fun used to be famous for offering dollar blackjack and $2 craps, but they no longer offer table games at all. You can still shoot pool and play shuffleboard there, though.

They also have a bowling alley.

Conclusion

Who owns the casinos in Las Vegas?

Most of them are owned by four or five companies, although several are owned by individuals.

If you’re gambling on the Strip, you’re probably doing business with a huge corporation.

But even if you’re gambling at one of the smallest casinos in Las Vegas, you can bet that the owner is rich beyond belief.

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