State gaming agents moved into the deserted casino at the Aladdin Hotel at midnight, taping slot machines and shutting down gaming tables.
The casino was closed as Japanese businessman Ginja Yasuda formally took control of the troubled Strip resort for $54 million in a federal bankruptcy sale. About 95 casino workers were left without jobs--at least temporarily--by the closure.
The casino will remain closed until Yasuda obtains a gaming license, a process that could take six months. Meanwhile, the hotel and a coffee shop will remain open for business.
Only two blackjack tables were open late Tuesday. About a dozen players were in the slot machine area of the large casino as gaming regulators and the resort's new owners prepared for the closure.
But many employees, including one dealer who was terminated at the end of the shift, were optimistic about the sale to Yasuda, who has promised to spend $20 million to refurbish the resort.
"It has been going steadily downhill ever since I got here," said Donna Femino, a dealer for the last 18 months. She said she was "glad it was sold to him (Yasuda)."
The resort had been operating at minimal levels the last two years under owner Ed Torres.