Western is Mecca for low rollers

Dec 14, 2004 4:23 AM


If you’re a low roller looking for a good place to gamble on the cheap, the Western Hotel on Fremont Street is for you.

Located a couple of blocks east of the Fremont Street Experience, the Western earlier this year was purchased by Barrick Gaming from Jackie Gaughan.

The modest casino has a few $1 blackjack tables, which seem to serve as a training ground for dealers just out of school or new to town. Yet, playing for a buck is a rarity in today’s casino world, so bear with the oft-times slow deals and payoffs.

The real attraction of the Western, though, is the casino’s wide array of penny and low denomination slots. In fact, the Western still maintains a penny slot progressive, which for years attracted players who only had a few dollars to gamble.

The latest penny slots reflect a nice mix of reel slots, video poker and video keno games. In fact, most of the major brands are represented: IGT Game King, Bally Keno Plus and more.

For those who have more to spend, the Western has a nice mix of quarter, 50-cent and dollar machines as well. Many of the games are the older video poker and keno machines that disappeared years ago from the Western’s competition along Fremont Street.

Rounding out the casino options are the Western’s daily bingo games, which cost only a dollar to play.

In addition to no-frills gambling, the Western has a coffee shop that serves well-prepared meals at bargain prices. The special of the day ordinarily costs a dollar or two.

Since Barrick took over last March, the Western has launched several casino promotions. Currently, you can enter a free video poker tournament, Monday-Saturday. Players who accumulate the most credits for the week win $100 and advance to the weekly tournament on Sunday, where they can win up to $500 and entry into the Grand Tournament, which will be held this week.

The Grand Tournament will award $5,000 to the top prize winner, and other prizes totaling $2,500.

Another on-going promotion is the Christmas Giveaway in which a Western sweatshirt is awarded for every hand-paid jackpot of $250 or more.

Obviously looking like the tired, older casino that it is, the Barrick organization has said they would like to one day renovate and convert the Western to a Spanish-themed casino. No firm dates have been mentioned, though.