This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with Bill Boyd.
Bill Boyd, executive chairman of Boyd Gaming Corporation. He co-founded the company with his father, Sam. Bill has been a respected gaming figure for decades , and recognized for his extensive community philanthropy.
Bill’s father, Sam A. Boyd, came to Las Vegas in 1941 as a dealer. Through hard work and a keen business acumen, he became a stockholder in the Sahara, the Mint, and the Union Plaza hotels in Las Vegas. Bill practiced law in Las Vegas for over 15 years and was a partner with his father and others in the Union Plaza Hotel & Casino and the Eldorado Casino in Henderson. In 1973, Bill left his legal practice and began his full-time career in the gaming industry when he and his father co-founded Boyd Gaming Corporation. The Company’s first property, the California Hotel and Casino in downtown Las Vegas, opened in January, 1975.
Sam passed away in January, 1993. Bill served as chief executive officer of Boyd Gaming until January, 2008, when he was succeeded by current Boyd Gaming CEO Keith Smith.
Bill has been an active philanthropist and civic leader for decades. He was on the board of directors of the Las Vegas Downtown Progress Association and a past president of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Nevada. He was president of the Nevada Resort Association, served on the board of directors of Nevada State Bank for 20 years, founded Bank West (now Bank of Nevada) and presently serves on the board of directors for Western Alliance Bancorporation.
Bill and his wife, Judy, Boyd Gaming and the Boyd Foundation have been major donors to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Boys and Girls Club, Boy’s Town of Nevada, National Judicial College, St. Rose de Lima Hospital, the United Way of Southern Nevada, D.A.R.E., and Nevada Blood Services, among many others. Through a significant $30 million gift that will benefit generations of future legal scholars, Bill Boyd provided funding for the creation of the nationally-ranked William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV.