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Oldest Casino in Las Vegas

Flamingo Las Vegas, owned by Caesars Entertainment Corporation is now the oldest casino in the Las Vegas Strip still in operation. Formerly known as The Flamingo Hotel, it was opened on December 26, 1946 by Mobster Bugsy Siegel and his partners. Still unfinished and with just 105 rooms, the owners hoped that the grand opening would entice business that would provide the needed amount to finish the rest of the hotel construction.

The Flamingo was planned as a new kind of luxury for Las Vegas, a full resort with a nine-hole golf course, squash and handball courts, tennis, a trapshooting range and extensive landscaping. Staff wearing tuxedos served its sophisticated and discerning customers.

However, the grand event was regarded a disaster. A storm grounded distinguished guests from Hollywood in California and gamblers who had no rooms at the hotel took their winnings and left.

The hotel did not attract locals either since they preferred less expensive casinos in downtown Las Vegas than those on the Strip. Not generating enough business, the Flamingo closed shortly after the grand opening but reopened on March 1 the following year. It became more successful the second time but the mobsters who helped finance the hotel were not happy with the budget issues and suspected Siegel of skimming money. In June of the same year, Siegel was killed in the Beverly Hills home of his girlfriend.

After Siegel's death, the mobster managed the hotel and renamed it The Fabulous Flamingo. In the hotel's first full year of operation in 1948, profit reached $4 million. Flamingo Las Vegas, as it is known today, has become the oldest casino in Vegas and has over 3,600 hotel rooms, a Margaritaville mini-casino and a garden courtyard that houses flamingos.