The casino floor has fewer than 300 slot and video poker machines and only ten table games, far smaller than Strip megaresorts and even smaller than many casinos catering to local residents. Instead, the resort concentrates more on its hotel amenities, including a destination spa, catering to guests who typically visit other Westin Hotels throughout the world.
The property was originally opened on July 1, 1977 as the Maxim Hotel and Casino. Though smaller than typical Vegas resorts even before today's megaresort era, the Maxim had a popular following because of its attention to personal service. It thrived during the 1980s, but went into decline as flashier, larger resorts opened on the nearby Strip.
In 1999, the casino was closed in a dispute between the casino operator and hotel owners. The hotel itself remained open without gaming, until closing entirely in 2001.
The Maxim was the site of the infamous shooting death of rapper Tupac Shakur in 1996. Shakur was a passenger in a BMW that was driving in front of the casino, when a man in a Cadillac pulled up and opened fire, gravely wounding the rap star. He died a week later from his injuries.
Columbia Sussex reopened it as The Westin Casuarina on November 6, 2003, using the name of its successful resort in the Cayman Islands. The Westin Casuarina marked the first Westin resort nationwide to feature a casino and is the first Westin in Nevada. Columbia Sussex bought the former Maxim for $38 million then spent an additional $90 million on the remodel.
In November 2010, lenders filed for foreclosure on the Westin Casuarina, after Columbia Sussex had stopped making payments on the property's $160 million mortgage in April. The hotel's general manager said in October 2011 that Columbia Sussex would not fight the foreclosure, and that the hotel was overleveraged due to property values declining in the recession. Lenders asked a court to appoint Pyramid Hotel Group as receiver to operate the resort. Pyramid leased the property's casino to 777 Gaming, a company that had operated several rural casinos and a slot route, for four years beginning in May 2012.