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Emerald Island a Mecca for low rollers

Nov 9, 2004 4:16 AM

The downtown section of Henderson is noteworthy for its cluster of smaller casinos. And it’s become a popular spot for customers who don’t need a hotel, fancy restaurants, health spas or other accoutrements associated with Las Vegas’ largest casinos.

One of the more recent casinos to appear downtown is the Emerald Island Casino, which last year replaced the former Pot O’ Gold on Market Street. To distinguish itself from its predecessors, the Island erected a 9-foot "emerald" that is perched atop a 60-foot tower. When lit at night, the 1,500 kilowatt jewel can be seen for miles.

Like most of its nearby cousins, Emerald Island caters to low rollers — virtually all of its 370 gaming machines offer one-cent and two-cent games, as well as nickel and higher denominations.

The games are a mix of video reel slots, video poker, video keno and multi-game machines, such as IGT’s Game King, which offers poker, keno, slots and other games in varying denominations.

There are no high-tech ticket-in, ticket-out machines, but there is a staff of about 90 who are always ready to cash out players.

While the Emerald Island offers no "live" games such as blackjack, poker or bingo, and there is no race and sports book, it does have a separate non-smoking area, which is completely isolated from the smoking floor.