Try Gold Spike for bargain gaming

Jan 4, 2005 2:37 AM

The Gold Spike is on Ogden Avenue just a block north of the Fremont Street Experience, but the distance might be better measured in eons.

While the high-tech FSE entertains with space-age laser lights and studio-quality sound, the Gold Spike clings to its sepia-tone heritage as the last of downtown’s sawdust joints.

Don’t let the aging hotel exterior fool you. The casino is just as ancient, but since Barrick Gaming bought the property from Jackie Gaughan, there’s been some sprucing up inside.

Not too much sprucing, however. The casino is practically intact with its threadbare carpet and musty smoky smell. But it’s not a bad spot to play a few machines and bet $2 blackjack.

The casino has about 350 slots — plenty of low denomination games that include penny slots, video poker and video keno. There used to be 10¡ roulette, but the wheels have been a casualty of changeover. But there is $2 blackjack and Royal Match.

There are also free daily bingo games; all you have to do is sign-up. Plus, the Gold Spike will comp a meal with any $50 or higher slot jackpot.

In addition to a small coffee shop, the Gold Spike has 116 hotel rooms above the casino.

Besides getting a peek at a side of Las Vegas gaming that’s nearly extinct, visiting the Gold Spike is a chance to experience low rolling at its lowest.

Plus, it’s a chance to rub elbows with the lowest of the low rollers. But don’t worry. Nothing should rub off. — Ron Fortune