Century Casinos has been given the tentative green light to acquire the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nevada.
The final approval of this acquisition would mark Century’s initial entry into the Silver State.
Nevada’s Nugget Casino to be next Century Casinos acquisition
The Nevada Gaming Control Board held a 90-minute meeting with Century Casinos executives this past Wednesday. Company representatives told gaming regulators the Nugget would become the company’s largest property.
Century Executive Vice President Andreas Terler hinted at plans for the Nugget, saying:
“We will introduce a referral program for our customers at our U.S. properties that will entice them to come [to the Nugget].”
As a result, control board members awarded Century with a unanimous recommendation.
The Nevada Gaming Commission will hold a meeting in Las Vegas on March 23 where the control board’s recommendation will be considered.
Century’s nationwide plans for expansion
Century Casinos made its debut in Europe, expanding to the U.S. via a handful of regional casinos. As such, the company doesn’t currently boast a flagship resort.
Century opened a corporate U.S. office in Colorado Springs, CO in 1994. Since then, it has expanded nationally via two small casinos in Colorado, two riverboat casinos in Missouri and one casino in West Virginia. The company is also in talks to acquire a west Maryland casino resort.
Century expanded internationally during that time as well, debuting four gaming properties in Canada and four in Poland.
According to reports, Century is prepared to pay $195 million for the Nugget. That’s $100 million for Nugget Casino operations and $95 million for half of the site off I-80 where the Nugget is located.
Nugget Casino would become Century’s flagship property following the acquisition.
When assessing Century’s suitability, control board Chairman Kirk Hendrick said:
“I didn’t have any questions about the balance sheet and leverage so I have no concerns about the financing.”
Century has the option to purchase the other half of the Nugget location after closing on the initial half.
Nugget operations going forward
Owned by Marnell Gaming since 2016, Nugget Casino features 1,382 rooms in its spacious hotel that ranks as one of the largest resorts in Northern Nevada.
As for the main casino, Nugget features a 75,000-square-foot gaming floor in addition to nine restaurants, a 700-seat showroom and 110,000 square feet of conference space.
Nevada gaming executive Mark Sterbens will continue his role as general manager of the Nugget following the sale. Century intends to retain the majority of Nugget executives and staff members.
U.S. casino operations currently account for as much as 70% of Century Casinos’ revenue. That number is only set to go up once the Nugget acquisition is complete.
Century takes matters into its own hands with Nugget buy
Come 2019, Century inked a $385 million deal with Eldorado Resorts to acquire operations of Mountaineer Casino and Racetrack in West Virginia along with two Missouri riverboat casinos.
The buildings and land surrounding these three locations were purchased by the real estate investment trust VICI Properties, which then leased the sites to Century.
In August of 2022, Century and VICI rekindled their partnership, putting up a combined $260 million for Maryland’s Rocky Gap Casino Resort. VICI’s contribution for the land and buildings will be a total $203.9 million, while Century is adding $56.1 million to that sum for operations.
VICI will receive payments from Century for the Rocky Gap property rental beginning at $15.5 million and increasing to $41 million annually.
Century’s Nugget Casino Resort acquisition, however, will give the company full control of land, building and all operations.