Downtown Las Vegas is the original townsite and gambling district of Las Vegas. On May 15, 1905, the city of Las Vegas was founded on roughly 110 acres of land – the area now known as Downtown Las Vegas.
Prior to the development of the famous Las Vegas Strip (“The Strip”), Downtown Las Vegas was the focal point for Las Vegas gambling. Unlike The Strip, Downtown Las Vegas is located within the City of Las Vegas. (The Strip on the other hand passes through the unincorporated towns of Paradise and Winchester south of the Las Vegas city limit.)
Although Downtown Las Vegas faces competition from The Strip, it is still a vibrant gambling district that have a lot to offer – including some excellent poker. Downtown Las Vegas also features a variety of hotels, historical buildings, retail developments and cultural centers. A majority of the Downtown casinos are found on Freemont Street. Compared to The Strip, the atmosphere is more vintage and nostalgic.
Some of the more well-known casinos that offers poker in Downtown Las Vegas are Binion’s, Golden Nugget, Stratosphere, El Cortez, Plaza, and The D (formerly known as Fitzgeralds).
Binion’s (formerly Binion’s Horseshoe) on 128 E. Fremont Street is named after its founder, the famous Benny Binion. It was run by the Binion family from 1951 to 2004, but is now a part of the TLC Casino Enterprises. The hotel part was closed in 2009 but the casino remains open.
The Binion’s is an integral part of poker history; the World Series of Poker was invented by Benny Binion and held at the Binion’s 1970-2004. In 1988, Binion’s purchased its next to neighboring The Mint and the succeeding expansion of the casino provided room for Binion’s first separate poker room.
Binion’s new Hall of Fame Poker Room features 10 poker tables and is decorated with historic pictures from Binion’s rich Las Vegas poker legacy. There is a $4 rake on all cash games and $2 comps per hour of live poker play.
Both cash games and tournaments are available, including a popular daily 8. p.m. $60 No Limit Texas Hold’em tournament.
Located on 129 Freemont Street, the Golden Nugget is luxury hotel and casino owned by Landry’s Restaurants. The Golden Nugget is the largest casino in the downtown area and there are plenty of gaming opportunities for poker aficionados here.
The poker room at the Golden Nugget features 13 tables (all smoke-free) and is famous as the venue for Poker After Dark on NBC, and it has also been the site for NBC’s Face of the Ace and GSN’s High Stakes Poker.
Cash games are available from low stakes to high stakes, and free poker lessons are offered daily at 10:00 a.m. Four hours of cash game will give you a $10 dining credit.
The selection of tournaments includes the popular Grand Poker Series.
Located at 2000 Las Vegas Blvd. South, the Stratosphere is often seen as a part of The Strip, but it is situated within the City of Las Vegas and the Nevada Gaming Control Board defines it as a Downtown Las Vegas casino.
The Stratosphere Tower is the tallest structure in Las Vegas and the tallest observation tower in the United States. The hotel and casino are situated in a separate 24-story building. Since 2008, Stratosphere has been owned by Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds, an affiliate of Goldman, Sachs & Co.
The poker room is open 24/7 and features eight tables. Both cash game and tournament poker is available. Beginners can take advantage of daily free poker lessons. Every day, $45 No Limit tournaments start at 11a.m., 7 p.m. And 11 p.m.