Posted on: December 8, 2022, 03:14h. 

Last updated on: December 8, 2022, 04:54h.

Central City — one of the three Colorado towns where casino gaming is legal — might be getting a sultry addition to its gaming scene.

Rick's Cabaret
Dancers at Rick’s Cabaret. Parent company RCI Hospitality is opening a casino in Central City, Colo. (Image: YouTube)

RCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: RICK), which is the company behind Rick’s Cabaret and several other well-known gentleman’s clubs, said it closed on the purchase of a four-story, 30,000-square-foot building at 130 Main Street in Central City. The buyer paid $2.4 million in cash for the property and is planning to open a Rick’s Cabaret Steakhouse & Casino there.

The venue will feature “fine dining, casino/sports betting, and entertainment,” according to the statement. “Entertainment” is not elaborated on, but the Houston-based company has roots in adult entertainment.

Founded in 1983, the Rick’s Cabaret brand pioneered the creation of elegant gentlemen’s clubs featuring beautiful topless dancers and high-quality restaurant service,” according to RCI Hospitality’s investor relations website.

RCI and its subsidiaries run more than 60 gaming venues, gentleman’s clubs, and sports bars across the US.

Competitive Colorado Casino Scene

RCI Hospitality is entering Colorado at a time of growth and increasing competitiveness in the state’s three casino towns. It’s also one of the fastest-growing sports betting states in the country.

In 2020, voters there approved Amendment 77, which set the stage for the gaming towns of Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek to ditch the prior $100 per hand cap on table game bets. Analysts expect that will not only boost gross gaming revenue (GGR), but also lead to a high-end clientele visiting Colorado casinos, with those guests potentially committing to overnight stays, rather than day trips.

“For the 12 months ended June 2022, more than $1 billion was wagered on slot machines in Central City, generating more than $80 million in adjusted gross proceeds. In 1991, gambling was legalized in the historic mining towns of Central City, Cripple Creek, and Black Hawk. In 2020, sports betting was legalized, and in 2021, the state removed all betting limits,” according to RCI Hospitality.

Other gaming venues in Central City include Century Casino, Dostal Alley Casino, Dragon Tiger Casino, and Easy Street Casino, among others.

“RCI subsidiaries have applied for a gaming license to operate 175 slot machines, six blackjack tables, one craps table, and one roulette table in Central City,” according to the company.

Rick’s Cabaret Gaming Footprint

It’s not uncommon for strip clubs to pursue gaming licenses in some form in states where wagering is permitted. More such establishments may be apt to pursue those permits due to a slump in visitors caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

As for RCI Hospitality, Colorado isn’t the company’s initial foray into gaming. The company offers various wagering options at locations in Illinois and Louisiana.

RCI operates gentleman’s clubs under the Cheetah Club, Club Onyx, Jaguars Club, Rick’s, and Temptations brands, among others.