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Licensing for new Sparks Nugget owners approved

Updated March 24, 2023 - 6:45 pm

The Nevada Gaming Commission on Thursday unanimously approved the licensing of Century Casinos Inc. for its recently acquired Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks.

Commissioners also approved the suitability of seven Century executives and board directors in the 75-minute hearing.

Just over a year ago, the Colorado Springs, Colorado-based company announced plans to purchase the operations of the Nugget and a 50 percent ownership stake in the twin-towered, nearly 68-year-old, 1,600-room resort from Marnell Gaming LLC for $195 million.

Under terms of the transaction, Century has the right to buy out Marnell’s holdings within four years for an additional $105 million, plus 2 percent accrued interest on that amount. After four years, Marnell can require Century to buy out the remaining interest.

The total value of the deal, expected to close in mid-2023, is estimated at $300 million.

The Nugget, three miles from Reno-Tahoe International Airport, has a 50,200-square-foot casino with 859 slot machines, 29 table games and an 8,555-seat outdoor amphitheater with a five-story, 1,200-space parking garage and an additional 1,272 parking spaces. It also has several casual and fine dining restaurants and 110,000 square feet of convention space.

Executives said one of their priorities will be to expand the gaming floor with 100 new slot machines and to upgrade a central bar in the casino.

Co-CEOs Peter Hoetzinger and Erwin Haitzmann told the Nevada Gaming Control Board when it recommended approval of licensing on March 8 that the company receives 75 percent of its revenue from properties in the United States, 14 percent from Canada and 11 percent from Poland.

It operates 17 casinos in three countries and it reported revenue of $430.5 million in 2022, an 11 percent increase over the previous year.

This story has been updated with details of the Nugget transaction.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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