Tony Hsieh’s Estate is Selling The Western, a Long-Abandoned Las Vegas Casino


The Western, once renowned as one of Las Vegas’s most daunting casinos to venture into, has resurfaced on the market, four years following the passing of its famed final proprietor.

Richard Hsieh, father to the late Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and executor of his estate, has revealed plans to offload the property to the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC). This announcement coincided with his application for a one-day license to operate slot machines, a requisite to maintain the Western’s gaming license in force.

A History Etched in Vegas Lore

Established in 1970 at the intersection of Fremont and 9th streets by casino mogul Jackie Gaughan and his business associate Mel Exber, The Western boasted the title of the world’s largest bingo parlor, accommodating 1,020 seats along with an expansive 15,000 square feet of gaming space.

Yet, grandeur didn’t define The Western, situated at the base of Gaughan’s portfolio of low-stakes gambling establishments, which included El Cortez, Plaza, Las Vegas Club, and Gold Spike.

As the years progressed, The Western’s condition deteriorated significantly, its gaming tables bearing the marks of wear from its local clientele.

In 2004, Gaughan relinquished ownership to Barrick Gaming, coinciding with an Associated Press article that painted The Western as a symbol of desperation in the heart of Las Vegas.

The establishment met its demise on January 16, 2012, when Tamares Real Estate, a New York-based firm, shuttered its doors.

In March 2013, Tamares sold the property for $14 million to a company affiliated with Hsieh’s Downtown Project, which embarked on a significant revitalization effort along East Fremont Street.

Despite contemplations of transforming The Western into an e-sports arena, a vision that never materialized, Hsieh’s involvement with the property remained passive until his untimely demise in 2020.

Dara Goldsmith, representing Hsieh’s estate, expressed confidence in the property’s potential for redevelopment, hinting at an imminent transformation.

Aside from the gaming license, The Western’s tavern license with the city of Las Vegas has been extended until February 2025.

The recent attention on the property is due to its acquisition by Logic and Boston Omaha, both entities under the ownership of Brendan Keating, who facilitated the sale, effectively trading the properties amongst his own ventures.

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