Sparks’ Nugget Casino Resort Purchased by Century Casinos

Breaking Nevada Casino News

Colorado-based Century Casinos will be expanding into the state of Nevada. The company announced a deal worth nearly $200 million that will allow Century to purchase the Nugget Casino Resort. The casino property is located just outside of Reno.  As part of the deal, Century will also acquire 50% of the real estate company Smooth Bourbon.

Marnell Gaming, the current owner of the Nugget Sparks Casino and Smooth Bourbon, originally acquired the casino in 2016. As part of the deal, Century has a five-year option to purchase the remaining 50% of Smooth Bourbon.

The move into the Reno market has been in the works for a long time. Century Casinos will now have 10 different casino operations in North America, including one in Canada. The Nuggets Sparks Casino features a convention space, hotel, and multiple dining options. The casino floor has over 800 slot machines and nearly 30 table games.

Marnell Gaming Sells Casino and Part of Real Estate Company

John Ascuaga owned and operated the Nugget for decades. After acquiring the casino in the 1960s, he built the brand into one of the premier operations in Reno. Ascuaga sold the casino resort to Marnell Gaming, who took over the property in 2016. The details of the sale were not discussed at the time, but Marnell Gaming reportedly planned to invest $25 million to renovate the property. Now, Marnell Gaming is selling the casino resort to Century Casino.

There are two major assets in the deal between Marnell Gaming and Century Casinos. The first part is the sale of the Nugget Casino Resort in Nevada. Century has agreed to pay $100 million for the property. The Colorado-based company will be the third owner of the casino in less than a decade.

The second part of the deal centers on Century Casinos acquiring partial ownership of the real estate company Smooth Bourbon. Century will pay $95 million for 50% of the company. There is also a provision in the deal that gives Century a five-year option to purchase the remaining half. To so do, Century would have to pay $105 million for the second half of Smooth Bourbon.

Smooth Bourbon owns the land the Nugget Casino Resort is built on. For the time being, the company will lease the property to Century. The Colorado-based company will acquire its 50% stake in Smooth Bourbon in the second quarter of this year. Pending approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission, the sale of the Nugget Casino Resort will close in the second quarter of 2023.

Century Casinos Expands into Nevada

Officials from Century Casinos have planned to expand to Nevada for years. The purchasing of the Nugget Casino Resort adds a valuable piece to Century’s portfolio. It will be the 10th casino owned by Century in North America.

Colorado’s Century Casinos already has two gaming operations in the Mile High State. They also operate two casinos in Missouri and one in West Virginia. Outside of the US, Century owns four casinos in the Canadian province of Alberta.

The Reno market is not as fruitful as nearby Las Vegas, but it should provide Century with a foothold in the state. It is located near the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Reno itself is becoming a popular destination for many of the top US companies, including Amazon and Tesla. The city has an unemployment rate far below the national average.

Features of the Nugget Casino Resort

The Nugget Casino Resort has undergone more than just ownership changes in the last decade. After purchasing the property, Marnell Gaming began spending millions on renovations and expansions. As part of the construction projects, Marnell gaming added a more than 8,000 seat amphitheater that opened in June 2019.

As a full-service resort, the Nugget also features 110,000 square feet of convention space. There are also two hotel towers that combined have nearly 1,400 rooms. Guests also have access to seven dining venues on-site.

The casino itself has over 50,000 square feet of gaming space. On the casino floor, bettors can choose from a selection of 859 slot machines. There are also 29 table games available. With the addition of the Nugget, Century Casinos will now operate nearly 7,000 gaming machines and almost 150 table games across North America.


A popular Sparks casino could soon have new ownership. Century Casinos announced that it has reached an agreement to buy the Nugget Casino Resort from Marnell Gaming. The sale is pending approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission. As part of the deal, Century will also receive a 50% ownership stake in Smooth Bourbon, a Reno real estate company.

The acquisition of the Nugget will give Century Casinos its first casino in Nevada, and 6th overall in the US. Century also operates 4 casinos in Canada. In total, the deal will cost Century just south of $200 million.

Nugget Casino Resort has been part of the Reno gaming scene for decades. Marnell Gaming has spent millions in renovations since buying the property less than a decade ago. Included in the recent expansion was the addition of a new amphitheater that opened in the summer of 2019. The casino has more than 50,000 square feet of gaming space. Meanwhile, the hotel portion of the resort offers almost 1,400 guest rooms across its two towers.