The Gold Standard

It’s about time that a casino came up with a machine that has a guaranteed payout.

On Jan. 5, the Golden Nugget debuted its Gold to Go vending machine, an ATM-like device that allows patrons to buy 24-karat gold bars and coins, ranging in weight from one gram to one ounce.

The machine, the second of its kind in the United States and the 16th worldwide, automatically updates every 10 minutes to reflect the current price of gold. It only accepts cash, carries bars weighing 1 gram, 2.5 grams, 5 grams, 10 grams and 1 ounce. A 10-gram gold bar featuring the Golden Nugget logo and an American Eagle 1-ounce coin are also available. At the unveiling, prices ranged from $60 for the 1-gram bar to $1,596 for the American Eagle coin.

“It lets our guests win a little money in the casino and go right over to the machine,” Golden Nugget CEO Tilman J. Fertitta says.

Boca Raton, Fla., was the first North American location for Gold to Go, which was created by Germany-based Ex Oriente Lux AG. There are plans to install five to 10 more in the U.S. in the next couple of months, none of which are targeted for Las Vegas.

Golden Nugget vice president for player relations Gerry Del Prete came up with the idea of housing the machine at the casino after hearing about the one installed last May in the United Arab Emirates.

“Along with the Hand of Faith [the largest golden nugget in existence], we thought this would be another great attraction to bring people down here,” Del Prete says. “And it will actually give [visitors] the ability to take a little gold back home with them to remember their experience at the Golden Nugget.” That’s a better prospect than another losing night at video poker.

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