The Western opened in 1970 as the Western Hotel & Bingo Parlor and was owned by Jackie Gaughan and Mel Exber. At its opening, The Western was the world's largest bingo parlor with 1,020 seats.
Jackie Gaughan sold the hotel to Barrick Gaming in March 2004. The plans called for redeveloping the Western Hotel as a Latino destination resort. At the time, the AP said about the property, "On a stretch of despair that tourists in Las Vegas seldom see, the Western Hotel-Casino stands out as a beacon for the broke and nearly broken".
In 2005, The Tamares Group acquired total control of the hotel and casino through a lease from Barrick. In 2010 the hotel portion completely closed and redevelopment still remains uncertain to this day.
On November 15, 2011, the Tamares Group announced that "due to decreased demand at this location", The Western would close on January 16, 2012. Its future redevelopment is uncertain.
In March 2013, the property was purchased for $14 million by a company affiliated with Tony Hsieh's Downtown Project, a campaign to revitalize the Fremont Street area.