Slot World reopens as Golden Nickel
Slot World has moved its smoke shop and casino from the Carson Mall to a new location, with a new name, on William Street.
The Golden Nickel, 444 E William St., opened this week in a portion of the former Hollywood Video, which closed earlier this year.
The smoke shop inside the mall, established by Cactus Jack’s founder Peter Piersanti 37 years ago as a kiosk, was purchased by Slot World co-owners Dennis Small and Steven Taylor in 1989. Until it closed this summer, Slot World Smoke Shop was one of the oldest tenants inside the mall, which was built in 1965.
Jeff Smeath, one of Slot World’s four co-owners, said the company decided to close the Slot World Smoke Shop after learning about the mall’s remodeling plans.
“The mall had actually showed us plans of their remodel … they were going to put an entrance right through the middle of the smoke shop,” Smeath said. “That started us moving.”
The closure of Gottschalks also prompted the casino to move.
“And with the anchor leaving, foot traffic slowed down on the inside of the mall,” Taylor said. “The exterior is doing great … a lot of people go to that, which is great. There’s nothing in the mall to draw people inside anymore.”
Since the smoke shop opened in 1973, it has seen three other anchor stores come and go: Gray Reids, Safeway and JC Penney, which is now located in the Southgate Shopping Center.
Smeath said Slot World had run another casino off of Highway 50 named the Golden Nickel until 1998, when it was torn down to make way for the freeway.
“We figured since we’re back on (Highway) 50, we might as well resurrect the name,” Smeath said.
The new location, which will be open daily from
9 a.m.-9 p.m., won’t offer a smoke shop, but has a vending machine for cigarettes. It also offers a soda vending machine and coffee.
“We wanted to get away from the connotation of smoking,” Smeath said.
The casino also is displaying a 1-ounce golden Buffalo Nickel, which they will give away in a drawing.
Smeath said the down job market is affecting the company’s other casinos in the region, describing business as, “OK.”