Abandoned casinos that are downright creepy - page 3 of 20 - casino listings

Welcome to part three of our six-part blog series, where we take a look at abandoned casinos. So far in this series, we have explored some truly haunting places that will send shivers down your spine. From fire damage, acts of Mother Nature, or simply being abandoned by their owners for new pastures, these once bustling casinos now lay empty and forgotten.

Today, we are heading from America back to Europe, where we will be visiting two more Romanian casinos. Tomorrow, we will make our way over to Africa before heading back to the US again. If you have not read part one and part two yet, then we suggest you do so now as we explore another four abandoned casinos that will give you the creeps.

41. Sala Palatului  

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First up on today's list is Sala Palatului, which translates to Palace Hall in English. The hall was built in 1957 but was destroyed by fire in 1977. It took around five years to rebuild it for when Romeo and Julieta, the circuses, figure skating competitions, and concerts came to town. 

It wasn't until 1990 that a casino opened inside the complex, which operated until the early 2000s. Today, it looks like absolute chaos has ensued within its walls, with chairs and tables lying around aimlessly while nature tries to regain what was once her kingdom.

42. Casino Majestic 

Once upon a time, Casino Majestic was the place to be in Switzerland. But after being shuttered since 1998, this Art Deco building is nothing more than a shell of its former self. In fact, there were plans in motion to turn it into something spectacular in 2016, but they fell through.

According to Swisstrio, the new project would breathe new life into the cashi­ne, transforming it into a five-star hotel complete with 112 rooms and apartments. But alas, much like the thousands of spins you perform on a slot machine, not all of them are winners.

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Ruined casinos seem to be popping up all over the place in . Let’s take a look at another couple of creepy casinos in this eastern European nation.

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43. Casino Administrativ 

There isn't much info out there about Casino Administrativ, which could explain why some sources spell it differently like ADMINISTRATIV or Administrative Casino. All we know is that it used to be in Bucarest, Romania, and is one hell of an eerie place.

The casino covered 5,000 square feet and had two floors filled with every gambling game you can imagine. Unfortunately, that is all the information we can find about this ghostly casino.

Perhaps one of our readers can offer us a little more insight or perhaps they may want to go and investigate themselves!

44. Castle Casino 

Rounding off today's blog is the infamous Castle Casino. This colossal casino covers almost 12,000 square meters across four floors. There was even a VIP section known as "The Penthouse," accessible only via a private elevator.

The casino was home to 600 slot machines, 80 gaming tables, a discotheque, a fast food restaurant, an art gallery...the list goes on! According to Lost Worlds of Gaming, the last remaining slot company, Eliom Games, donated all the slot machines left in the castle to various casinos and museums around the country.

The building itself was initially constructed in 1950 but was expanded between 1965 and 1968 to become the biggest hotel in Eastern Europe at the time. However, following the end of Communism in 1989, the hotel and casino fell victim to harsh economic times, forcing it to shut its doors for good in 2004.

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If you thought those abandoned casinos in Romania were enough to curl your toes, then wait till you see !

Abandoned Casinos in Africa

We are continuing our journey through abandoned casinos and heading slightly farther afield today. 

Abandoned buildings and casinos are nothing new, and we have plenty in the US and Europe to choose from for our series. But how many of you out there would have thought there were derelict betting houses in ?

We thought as well so let's take a look at three casinos that are now nothing more than a shadow of their former glory in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mozambique, and Tanzania.

45. Emperors Place Casino 

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Let's start our African adventure in Johannesburg at Emperors Place Casino. This casino was popular among celebrities, politicians, and business people alike from the second it opened its doors in 1994 until it closed down in 2013.

Many believe that the reason behind its closure was because of the R1 billion ($65 million) in unpaid debts owed by various parties. Since then, numerous developers have shown interest in revitalizing the casino, but none have come to fruition just yet.

According to IOL, property group Ratnick Properties bought the casino in 2016 and announced plans to demolish it and build a hotel worth $105 million instead. But despite acquiring the necessary approvals from the City of Johannesburg in September 2018, it doesn't look like anything has happened since then.

46. Casinho do Mocambique 

Our next stop takes us across the border to Mozambique, specifically to Casinho do Mocambique. Built-in 1959, this iconic landmark became a hotspot for visitors wanting to enjoy everything from roulette and blackjack to baccarat and slots.

Following a devastating civil war and a few changes of ownership, the casino was finally forced to close its doors in June 2015 after the government accused the operator of money laundering. The casino tried to fight against these claims, but ultimately, the courts ruled in favor of the government in March 2016, leading to its eventual closure.

Since then, vandals have caused extensive damage to the property, stealing electricity cables, pipes, and fittings. Not only is the Mozambican government unwilling to invest any money into restoring the old casino, but they are also unlikely to grant anyone else planning permission to renovate it.

47. New Imperial Hotel 

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Our final abandoned casino on today's blog is in Tanzania. The New Imperial Hotel was originally built in the 1950s and became incredibly popular among travelers and expats living in Dar es Salaam. It even had a small casino tucked away somewhere.

However, in recent years, it has been plagued by fires and was eventually forced to close due to safety concerns. One particular blaze ripped through the top floor and roof in February 2015, reducing them to ashes.

Despite reports suggesting that work was underway to restore the hotel to its former glory, it remains abandoned and in ruins. But it appears that not all hope is lost just yet. The Trip Adviser page for the New Imperial Hotel was last updated in August 2021, stating that the building "will soon be transformed into a modern hotel." We guess only time will tell if that comes to light.

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Abandoned Casinos in America (West Coast)

So far in this blog series, we have explored some of the most desolate casinos across Europe and Africa. Now it is time to head back to America, but this time, we will focus on the west coast.

From San Francisco to Las Vegas, Californian casinos have seen better days. Some have succumbed to the elements, others to arson attacks and looters, but all share one common thing - they are no longer in use.

48. Hells Angels Club House and Card Room 

Kicking off our west coast tour is the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club house and card room. This nondescript building was home to the biker gang in the '60s, who used the upper level as their clubhouse and the bottom floor as a card room and strip joint.

In 1969, the police raided the property during a charity poker tournament that was being held for wounded motorcycle riders. Around 200 people were kicked out and over 100 arrests were made for drunkenness.

This wasn't the only time the cops paid the house a visit either. Three years earlier, they stormed in and confiscated 16 pairs of women's handcuffs!

Today, the building still stands on 16th Street in Long Beach, California, but it is completely abandoned and looks in a bad state of repair.

49. Fitzgerald’s Card Club 

Anyone driving along the Foothill Freeway in Los Angeles cannot miss Fitzgerald’s Card Club. The giant neon sign that reads "Fitzgerald's" and a picture of the late founder, Ed Fitzgerald, still stands proud, even though the club has been closed since the mid-2000s.

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According to Jeremiah Andrick, who took the pictures featured in this article for LA Weekly back in 2007, vandals have stripped the place bare. Everything from the carpets and wiring to the glass and copper piping has gone, leaving nothing but graffiti on the walls.

When Andrick visited, he said that the card club looked like it was frozen in time since the '70s or '80s. There were even uneaten sandwiches and cigarette butts untouched since the last staff member clocked out.

50. Meadows Race Track 

Located on Redwood Road in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is The Meadows. It opened in 1959 as a horse racing track before adding harness racing to its schedule in 1963. Then in 1995, Pennsylvania voters approved slot machines being installed at the facility.

The last live race was held in October 2018, and since then, the track has been gutted by fire twice. But that hasn't stopped urban explorers from venturing inside to capture the remnants of what was once a thriving racetrack.

There are mixed feelings as to whether the track will reopen or not. In January 2020, Westmoreland County Chief Executive Officer Ken Heckathorn said that the tracks and grandstands would be restored and turned into a year-round entertainment venue. But until we see some solid plans, we won't hold our breath.

51. Golden Nugget 

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The Golden Nugget in North Las Vegas looked like it was making a comeback in 2018. Almost $330,000 worth of repairs and maintenance had been carried out on the lodge, including a new roof. But just months later, a fire broke out and destroyed part of the building.

The motel opened its doors in the 1950s and was a popular spot for travelers thanks to its location just five miles from the Strip. Over the years, it attracted some famous faces, including Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.

In March 2021, the Golden Nugget Motel was up for auction with a starting bid of $750,000. We couldn't find any updates to say if someone bought it or not, so for now, it will remain abandoned.

52. Bayview Casino 

Our next stop is Bayview Casino in San Francisco, California. Located at 1555 Chesapeake Avenue, this once-bustling casino has been closed since the mid-1980s. Like many other abandoned buildings, it has suffered at the hands of vandals and Mother Nature.

According to the Urban Exploration Resource, those daring enough to venture inside will find a bowling alley, pool table, bar, and old slot machines. The Bayview Casino even had a rooftop pool!

SanFranFolios shares that the casino was supposed to be turned into low-income housing back in 2005 but hit several setbacks along the way, including a fire. At the start of 2020, the plan was back on, but we have found no updates since then.

53. Argyle Casino 

Argyle Casino was a classy establishment back in the day. Complete with crystal chandeliers, marble bars, and red carpets, it was a far cry from some of the tackier casinos dotting the San Francisco skyline. However, the Argyle's lavish lifestyle caught up with it in the late '80s, forcing it to shut down.

Fast forward to today, and the casino remains abandoned except for the odd squatter here and there. Graffiti artists have used the walls as their canvas, and nature is trying to claim back what was once hers.

According to Curbed SF, there were plans to transform the casino into 12 condos back in 2015, but that never materialized. Maybe one day, it will be as stunning on the inside as it is on the outside.

54. La Concha Motel 

La Concha Motel was once the pride of Pacific Avenue in San Francisco. Its futuristic domes captured the eye of anyone walking or driving down the road. But today, it lies empty and decrepit, awaiting someone to invest some love and care into it.

Each room has its own theme, including a mermaid, cowboy, jockey, and princess. However, they are in a state of disrepair with broken furniture, peeling wallpaper, and cracks snaking their way across the concrete.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a developer wanted to buy the motel in 2018 and flip it into a boutique hotel. The price tag? Just $4 million. Two years on, no one has snapped it up, leaving it to rot.

55. Boardwalk Card Club 

Not all abandoned casinos meet a tragic end. Some just lose customers and ultimately need to shut their doors. Such is the case for the Boardwalk Card Club. This iconic club was responsible for launching the careers of famous players like Barry Greenstein, Mike Matusow, and Phil Ivey.

But in November 2020, the Shore Casino Pacific Inc., which owned the club, requested a permit to shut down the premises. Following an investigation, the Division of Gaming Enforcement gave the ok for it to close on December 15, 2020.

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Phillyburbs reports that the Boardwalk Card Club lost customers to online gaming, COVID-19 restrictions, and other competing clubs in the area. While the building does not look abandoned, it is currently closed.

56. Castro Valley Bowling Alliance 

Located at 5850 Sudden Valley Road in Castro Valley, California, is the abandoned Castro Valley Bowling Alliance. Once a popular hangout for locals, it is now a shell of its former self.

According to Urban Obscura, the bowling center opened in the early '70s but struggled to stay afloat. In an attempt to save it, the community purchased it in 1999 and renamed it the Castro Valley Community Center.

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The center offered things like yoga classes, martial arts lessons, and banqueting services. For the most part, it seemed to be doing okay. However, in 2008, a fire broke out, causing around $2 million worth of damage. Despite this, the center reopened in May 2014, only to be shuttered less than a year later.

And that brings our west coast tour to an end! If these abandoned casinos have tickled your taste buds, then we have any number of articles that might amuse you. How about our piece on ?

57. Millard Sheehan Center 

The final abandoned casino on our list is in Oregon and is called the Millard Sheehan Center. Located on Highway 38, this casino had a restaurant, lounge, gift shop, and exercise room, in addition to the slot machines and table games.

At its peak, around 160 people worked at the center, providing locals and tourists with a place to gamble and eat. However, in the late '90s, the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians opened three casinos of their own, drawing customers away from the Millard Sheehan Center.

The center shut down in 2002, and despite the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw tribes offering to buy it, nothing ever came of it. Vandals have trashed the place, and nature seems to be taking it back, but this may change soon.

In 2018, Myrtlewood Village, a manufacturer of manufactured homes, expressed its interest in buying the property to expand its business. The company needed around 20 acres, and the Millard Sheehan Center has more than double that!

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Abandoned Diamond Hollow Greater Prize Game & Gifts 

That concludes our third and final Amercian installment of abandoned casinos. But we couldn't resist adding one more to the mix!

Located on Route 208 in Florida, NY, is the Diamond Hollow Greater Prize Game & Gifts. This building may not technically be considered an abandoned casino per se, but it used to have around 20 pull tab and scratch-off lottery machines for customers to play.

According to Google Street View, taken in 2015, there was also a jukebox filled with classic rock songs, a pinball machine, and a photo booth that cost $8 for three prints.

It looks like the business closed in 2017. The reason why is unknown; however, the building is now covered in graffiti and vines, seemingly waiting for someone to take it on.

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Why Do Casinos Go Out of Business?

Throughout this blog series, we have explored 57 abandoned casinos from all over the world. Whether it is a fire, Acts of God, lack of custom, or strict regulations, these venues met a tragic end. But have you ever stopped to think why casinos go out of business in the first place?

In our final blog, we will examine five reasons why establishments choose to shut their doors forever.

58. Atlantis 

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Our first entry is fictional. Atlantis is a casino that should have been but never opened its doors to the public. Originally planned to open in 2008, the $1 billion resort was supposed to be the centerpiece of the Palm Jumeirah - an artificial island created using 12 million cubic feet of reinforced concrete.

However, the Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in 2008, putting a stop to the construction of Atlantis. Seven years later, the palms on the island finally welcomed visitors, but the casino was nowhere to be seen.

Inzofraecht shares that Kiraly Construction was awarded a contract worth $163 million to build the east tower of the Atlantis in 2017. Nothing has been announced since then, meaning this abandoned casino may remain just that.

59. Cliff House 

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Located on the cliffs of San Francisco, the Cliff House boasted incredible views of the ocean and city below. It began life as a resort back in 1863 before adding a dance pavilion, ballroom, and restaurant over the years. In 1947, they added a small casino for guests to try their luck at.

Following a fire in 1899, the Cliff House was rebuilt, only to suffer from another in 2000. The building was saved once again, but the casino didn't reopen. Instead, patrons were directed to the nearby Great American Music Show.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Cliff House resumed business as usual in 2001, except for the casino. The owner, Sima Gandhi, explained that she chose not to renew the license as it did not generate sufficient revenue to cover the costs.

60. Cal Neva Lodge & Casino 

If these abandoned casinos have taught us anything, it is that fire is the enemy. Such is the case for Cal Neva Lodge & Casino. This legendary resort straddled the Nevada-California state line, giving guests amazing views of Lake Tahoe.

In the 1960s, Cal Neva was the place to be. Frank Sinatra owned it and invited the likes of Marilyn Monroe and the Rat Pack to hang out there. But in 1975, a fire ripped through the showroom, forcing it to shut temporarily.

Cal Neva reopened seven months later, only to burn down again in 1978! This time it took six weeks to get it up and running again. Then in 2005, another blaze broke out, closing the casino for five months.

The property changed hands multiple times after that, including Larry Flynt and the current owner, American Indiana Gaming Association CEO Peter Cannizzaro. But neither of them could save Cal Neva. It shut down in 2013, and in 2016, a group of investors put it up for auction, priced at $25 million.

61. Resorts International 

After 40 years of business, Resorts International decided it was time to call it a day. The last day of trading was July 23, 2018, bringing an end to an era.

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What sealed the death of this Atlantic City casino was the rise of online gaming. President and CEO Mark Giannantonio admitted that they were losing customers to offshore sites and couldn't compete with neighboring Hard Rock and Ocean Casino Resort.

Hard Rock International bought Resorts International for $37million in 2018. The company intended to rip down the existing structure and replace it with a $50million hotel with 27 stories, known as Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

Demolition was scheduled for the spring of 2019, but that never happened. The outside still looks abandoned, but the interior is being used for something, although we cannot find out what.

62. Trump Taj Mahal 

How could we do a section on casinos that are no longer in business without mentioning one of Donald Trump's properties? Trump Taj Mahal opened its doors in 1990 and quickly accumulated $1.8 billion in debt.

To balance the books, Trump Taj Mahal introduced the "pleasure pit," which was packed full of Deal or No Deal models in skimpy outfits. The hope was that this would attract men to Atlantic City, but it failed miserably. Trump had nothing left as he sold his shares in 1995.

In 2016, the casino removed all of its comfortable bed seats, chargers, water fountains, and air conditioning as a union strike meant they had no ability to recruit replacement workers. Visitors boycotted Trump Taj Mahal in protest, resulting in it closing for good on July 6, 2016.

Like Resorts International, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino purchased Trump Taj Mahal for $50 million with plans to blow it down and erect a new building in its place. But unlike its neighbor, the wrecking ball got to work in 2017, tearing down the casino brick by brick.

Today, the site is empty, ready for Hard Rock's vision to come to life.

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Why Do Casinos Go Out of Business - Summary

Whether it is Mother Nature, act of god, stiff competition, or tightening legislation, casinos will always come and go. Buildings burn down, loose too much money, struggle to make ends meet, or fail to keep up with the changing times.

These establishments started out as places for people to gather, drink, dance, and gamble, but over time, they have evolved into tourist attractions. Many abandoned casinos still stand today, complete with slot machines, rusted signs, and graffiti. Some have been left exactly as they were when they closed, whilst others have been picked clean.

Others have met a sadder fate, falling victim to fires or collapsing under their own weight. Whatever the reason may be, these casinos serve as a sobering reminder of a time long gone.

Abandoned Casinos - Final Thoughts

And there we have it - 59 abandoned casinos from around the world. From crumbling stone structures deep in the woods to raccoons calling a glittering Vegas building their home, these ruined casinos paint a bleak picture of what happens when luck is not on your side.

Some of these buildings may find new purposes and live to fight another day. Others will lie unused and forgotten while urban explorers continue to traverse their halls. Only time will tell if any of these casinos can make a comeback.

For now, we will leave you with a question: have we missed any abandoned casinos off our lists? Let us know in the comments below, and don't forget to check out some of our other blogs while you're here!

James is a writer and editor with over fifty credits and ten years experience. He is dedicated to producing content you can trust with a particular interest in topics such as politics, legal affairs, and human interest stories.

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When he isn’t writing, James can be found exercising his creative muscle “at” the gem that is his local pub, usually in the company of friends, family .