Clark County Commission Extends Boyd Gaming’s Eastside Cannery License Amid Closure

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In a recent development, the Clark County Commission came together to vote unanimously, thereby granting a two-year extension to the renowned Boyd Gaming for maintaining licenses for the Eastside Cannery Casino and Hotel. This decision, coupled with the option for two subsequent six-month extensions, averts the impending expiration of an already established waiver on the venue’s licensing that was slated to occur by the end of the month.

It’s important to remember that the doors of the Eastside Cannery have been firmly locked for over 50 months. Astonishingly, it remains the only gaming property in the Las Vegas Valley that has yet to announce plans for reopening following its early coronavirus pandemic closure.

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Boyd Gaming, a Sin City native, currently operates a sprawling portfolio of 28 gaming venues across 10 states, 11 of which call Las Vegas home.

Interestingly though, the prolonged closure of the Eastside Cannery may not have griped Boyd as much as one might think. Casinos, after all, are not known to be solitary creatures. So patrons of the Eastside Cannery, key in both gaming and non-gaming aspects, have found refuge in Sam’s Town, another Boyd-owned location. The move is integral until changes in the market dictate a demand for added capacity at both venues, according to the operator’s correspondence to the commission.

Michelle Rasmusson, the Chief Compliance Officer at Boyd, mentions in the letter that the current market conditions are less than favorable when it comes to reigniting the operations at the Eastside Cannery. And that’s not the end of it. Even the patrons’ demand couldn’t drive a reopening as it would be hindered by the ongoing labor shortages which pose a significant challenge when trying to ensure apt staffing at the venue.

The history of the Eastside Cannery stretches back to 2008, before being swept up by Boyd Gaming in its sizeable $230 million acquisition of the Cannery Casinos in 2016. As part of the deal, Boyd Gaming also earned the possession of the Cannery Casino Hotel situated in North Vegas. But faced with a consistent maintenance cost of $500,000 per month, Boyd will need to consider a viable action plan.

Steering away from Boyd for a moment, a close rival called Red Rock Resorts made headlines in 2022 for never resuming operations at its casinos, closed due to the pandemic. Instead, these venues were demolished and sold off to non-gaming enterprises. While Boyd has remained tight-lipped about its plans to possibly demolish or sell off Eastside Cannery, there might be some merit in considering such an option.

The Clark County Commissioner, Jim Gibson, underlined during Tuesday’s meeting that he hopes to see the Eastside Cannery Casino and Hotel reclaim its earlier grandeur. Despite the closure being a better option presently, Gibson acknowledged the impeccable upkeep of the property by expressing gratitude towards the Boyd Group’s responsibility and commitment to their asset’s maintenance. He optimistically commented on the future of the property, looking forward to its commercial reinstatement and its importance to Boyd Gaming’s organization.