When Jackie Gaughan and his son, Michael, built the Barbary Coast in the 1970s, they divided Las Vegas in half. Michael was given five years to buy out his father's interest in the hotel, but under the condition that Michael was to keep his business operations south of Sahara Avenue while Jackie was to continue downtown. The division wasn't over a question of whether the city was big enough for the both of them. It was a simple matter of economics as long as the competition was among family, they figured neither could go wrong by staying out of each other's territory. It only took Michael six months to buy out his fathers interest in the Barbary Coast. Even with the Sahara Avenue boundary line, father and son didn't worry about competing against each other because according to Jackie, they both cater to different clientele.
The Gaughans also agree on the philosophy that to be successful in the gaming industry, it's important to take care of everyone from high rollers to the nickel slot players. In the 30-plus years, Jackie has been associated with the Showboat, the Golden Nugget, the Pioneer and Boulder clubs, the Flamingo and the Royal Inn. Jackie's list of civic endeavors includes being a board member of the United Fund, director of the Convention and Visitors Authority, president of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, organizer of the UNLV Rebels Club and a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Michael Gaughan, Sr. has operated casinos in Las Vegas since 1965, when he first became an owner of the El Cortez Hotel. He founded Coast Casinos in 1979 with the opening of Barbary Coast Hotel and Casino. Mr. Gaughan joined the Boyd Gaming executive team when Coast Casinos became a wholly owned subsidiary of the company in July 2004. In 2006 Michael Gaughan, Sr. purchased the South Coast property from Boyd Gaming, renaming it the South Point Hotel, Casino, and Spa.