Virginia City is the Nevada Gaming Industry’s Odd Man Out

Virginia City, NV, may be famous for being the site of the Comstock Lode and one of the reasons Nevada is called the Silver State, but it doesn’t enjoy the same gambling fame other cities around the state do. It is one of only a couple of towns not to have a casino and, at least for now, it’s going to stay that way. If anyone wants to become a gambling operator in Nevada, this might be a great opportunity, starting in a town of only around 780 people.

NGCB Shoots Down Only Gaming License Request

Vincent Malfitano was hoping to be able to bring casinos to Virginia City and set out to convince the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) that he is an outstanding candidate, despite a shady past. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal (LVRJ), though, the board wasn’t as convinced about his stature and shot him down last Wednesday. Malfitano, a California resident, couldn’t get the NGCB to see beyond his past transgressions, which include obstruction of justice, tax liens against him and several lawsuits, explains the LVRJ.

Because of his history, Malfitano had to seek a waiver to be removed from the NGCB’s blacklist before being able to apply for a gaming license. Not only does he not have a clean record, he apparently neglected to fully mention his background when he approached the NGCB. With over 65 years in operation, the board has more than sufficient experience in digging up the past.

Malfitano was apparently told by NGCB member Terry Johnson when his request to be removed from the blacklist was rejected, “You’ve been given more than ample opportunity to make a showing of your suitability and you have a robust record that you can go back and rely upon to see where the deficiencies were in the application, your participation in the application process and the investigation,” he said. “That third at-bat, you just really can’t do anything less than hit it out of the park. You can’t afford anything less. That third at-bat is your final opportunity.”

Virginia City Saloons Lose Old Town Gaming

It would be difficult to envision a mining city in the late 1800s that didn’t have a saloon with gaming activity, but Virginia City’s saloons have lost their luster. The Delta Saloon was reportedly built in 1863, making it one of the oldest establishments in the city. It was almost destroyed when a gas cylinder exploded in 2019, but, like the city itself, pushed through. This would be joined by The Bonanza Saloon, which is reportedly named for the Bonanza TV show.

Both properties are owned by Malfitano, but this could be an opportunity for a gaming operator to descend on the city like so many miners 150 years ago. While Malfitano can re-apply for a gaming license, most likely not until the end of the summer, someone looking to breathe new life into Virginia City could ride into town and work out a deal with him to get a couple of casinos up and running sooner.  

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