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Moulin Rouge site gets 8 hours of gambling 69 years after heyday

Updated May 16, 2024 - 9:28 am

Back in mid-1955, the Moulin Rouge, Las Vegas’ first desegregated casino, was a place to see and be seen.

Sixty-nine years later, on Tuesday, the site became a place to see — at least, for eight hours.

Gamblers played slot machines at the Moulin Rouge site Tuesday in one of those only-in-Nevada moments as owners of the property set up a temporary casino to preserve the land’s grandfathered gaming licensing capability.

The Moulin Rouge, named for the famed nightclub and casino in Paris, was only open from May through October 1955 and hosted a number of Black and white performers in its short existence.

“Everything went well. I mean it was busy,” Joey Apicella, the cash team security manager for Century Gaming Technologies, said Tuesday after overseeing the eight-hour opening of the temporary casino at the Moulin Rouge site on West Bonanza Road.

“A lot of people came by for pictures and memorabilia and stuff,” he said.

Apicella said around 10 people stopped in to gamble and about 15 more came by to snap pictures of the operation for historic purposes.

The Moulin Rouge site in 1992 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its role in Southern Nevada’s gaming history.

Century gets occasional requests for assistance to preserve the licenses of companies that no longer have active gaming onsite. Because state agencies require active gaming for at least eight hours every two years, Century obliges by wheeling a trailer containing 16 slot machines — the minimum number required for a nonrestricted license — onto the land.

Temporary casinos have been set up at Moulin Rouge in 2012, 2014, 2016 2018 and 2020 and similar operations have occurred at the Las Vegas Club in downtown Las Vegas in advance of the opening of Circa and at the Beach Club at Paradise Road and Convention Center Drive.

Tuesday’s temporary opening ran from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on X.

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