Terrible’s Casino in Jean Hints at Permanent Closure

Terrible’s Casino in Jean posted a message to its Facebook page that feels like its last. The post, dated November 22, 2021, tells players that the property “will not resume gaming operations for the foreseeable future.” It was the first Facebook post that the company made since closing the property due to the pandemic on March 17, 2020.

Jean is about halfway between Las Vegas and the California state line on Interstate 15. It is home to the world’s largest Chevron with 96 gas pumps, a smaller gas station, a prison that is often vacant, a post office that serves the entire rural area south of Las Vegas, and a private airport that specializes in skydiving flights. Jean has a population of zero.

Players with comps and points are instructed to claim them at other Jett Gaming properties over the next 90 days. The Terrible’s Chevron located across the interstate from the casino is not one of the listed properties where points may be claimed. There was a small slot casino inside the gas station at last check.

Terrible’s Casino was previously Gold Strike

The Terrible’s Casino in Jean was once the Gold Strike. MGM owned Gold Strike before selling it to Jett Gaming in 2015. It was acquired in the Mandalay Bay acquisition. MGM Resorts also owned Nevada Landing on the other side of the interstate. The company demolished it in 2008 for a development that never materialized.

MGM Resorts closed more than half the hotel rooms at Gold Strike before selling it. The new owners had refurbished it to some extent, reopening some rooms that were previously closed. 

Gold Strike seemed like a dumping ground for old MGM machines during its ownership era. It was mostly coin games. Any game that did not dispense coins required a hand pay. The coin games often had great pay tables. There was quarter full pay Deuces Wild and a joker one. There was also full pay Jacks or Better. The $1 coin games were mostly not-so-ugly-deuces. 

The MGM version of this property dealt 3:2 blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat. It had a decent pit for its remote location. The value seemed to drive visitors to the property that would have otherwise been ignored. 

Jett Gaming removed every coin video poker machine after acquiring the casino, leaving only a few coin reels and keno games to go with new ticket-in/ticket-out machines. Video poker pay tables were slashed. 

The table game pit was reduced to only 6:5 blackjack and roulette by the end. Even the video blackjack payout was dropped to 6:5. In my opinion, there was no reason to stop there anymore. That lack of value seemed to be the doom for Terrible’s Casino in Jean.

Related: I published a trip report for this casino in May, 2019.

Terrible’s Casino photo gallery from 2019:

The situation is not much better in Primm

It seems the poor business conditions go beyond Jean. I believe it also affects Primm, the only interstate exit between Jean and the California state line.

Primm casinos, also once owned by MGM Resorts, have seen much better days. Primm Valley Resort is the only one of the three Primm casinos that is anywhere close to normal operations it had before the pandemic. Its hotel is open daily, as well as some dining options. 

Primm Valley Resort is the only casino there with live table games these days. All three had them before the pandemic. However, all the blackjack is 6:5 these days. There was also Three Card Poker, roulette and a mini craps table at my last visit. The pit was only open on weekends. 

There was a large stadium and electronic table game setup next to the pit. That blackjack also paid 6:5 during my last visit.  

Whiskey Pete’s casino is also open. However, its hotel has only operated a handful of weekends since casinos were permitted to reopen in June 2020. 

Buffalo Bill’s, home to an amusement park that closed before the pandemic and was already assumed lost forever, has not reopened. It has a concert arena, which has also not returned. All scheduled acts were canceled indefinitely. 

I wonder if one of the issues with Primm is that a potential guest has no idea what is open. The group’s website allows me to check hotel rates at Buffalo Bill’s and Whiskey Pete’s. Since neither hotel is open, it just shows as sold out, as opposed to letting a website visitor know that the only hotel open regularly is at Primm Valley Resort. 

The dining section is another mess. Buffalo Bill’s restaurants are listed with available hours, though none are open. It calls into question how accurate the other listings are. It also shows lounges that don’t appear to be in operation. 

If guests do not think a website is current, and there are several reasons to believe the Primm one is not, they will keep driving. 

Buffalo Bill’s photo gallery from 2019: