Affinity Gaming, a privately held casino and sports wagering company based in Paradise near Las Vegas, Nevada, formerly known as Herbst Gaming and Affinity Gaming, reported last week that it is selling Rail City Casino in Sparks to Reno-based Truckee Gaming.

With this sale, the casino will return to the hands of its former owner.

Price not yet revealed:

After being officially acquired by Herbst Gaming more than a decade ago, Szony, who is the operating partner and CEO of Truckee Gaming, managed Rail City and few other Northern Nevada gaming properties.

Furthermore, two years after Herbst’s bankruptcy reorganization ended in 2011, Szony, who became Herbst’s CEO in 2007 and led the company post-bankruptcy, regained ownership of the 3 casinos when he founded Truckee Gaming in 2012.

However, the price for the acquisition of Rail City Casino has not yet been disclosed and the transaction is projected to be completed by the end of 2023, pending Nevada regulatory approval.

Commenting on the sale when it was first revealed last week, Mr. Szony, said: “We just couldn’t come to an agreement on Rail City. We’re glad to have it back. A lot of the same employees are still at Rail City and we look forward to welcoming them back into the company.”

He added: “The timing for the transaction is perfect given the growth and changes in the Sparks gaming market.”

Without hotel rooms, the main focus of Rail City Casino is the local population. The 24,000-square-foot casino offers 415 slot machines, the William Hill Raceway, a keno parlor, a sportsbook and a restaurant that involves the Ale House American Cafe and a buffet.

Sparks’ gaming income:

As for the city’s gaming income, it increased by 16.7% in 2022 to $14.2 million compared to a year ago.

In support of the previous statement, it also comes that one of the biggest casinos in Northern Nevada, the Nugget Casino Resort, is currently in the midst of the sale process, to Century Casinos for $195 million and the official opening of the $120 million Legends Bay that took place last August, supplied the city with an economic stimulus.

In this regard, Mr. Szony said: “The region continues to grow with new housing and new businesses.

“The market dynamic and the growth in Sparks is good for all of us. Century is a great operator and Legends added to the market. The growth is big enough for all of us.”

Almost three years since the closing of the Colorado Belle in Laughlin:

During a recent licensing hearing for the new general manager of Golden Entertainment’s 3 casinos in Laughlin, Nevada gaming regulators demanded to know when the Colorado Belle would open again.

The hotel-casino has officially closed its doors to the public 3 years ago on March 18, when Nevada’s gaming industry halted for 78 days due to the pandemic. However after those 78 days were up, the Colorado Belle stayed closed, and Golden’s two other Laughlin casinos, Aquarius and Edgewater, reopened.

In this regard, Jeremy Jenson, the general manger who was in charge of Laughlin casinos last year, said: “The Laughlin market has been stable in the past two years.”

Speaking to the Gaming Control Board, which unanimously backed his gaming license, he added: “It’s something we continue to look at and evaluate and see what we want to do with that property. 

“It’s something we have internal conversations with the team and we’re just weighing our options at this point.”

Jenson, who is licensed 4 times by Nevada gaming regulators, was previously named general manager of Golden’s two Arizona Charlie’s casinos in Las Vegas and the company’s three casinos in Pahrump.

Laughlin’s gaming income:

“Laughlin’s nine operating casinos and seven satellite sportsbooks produced $500.7 million in gaming revenue in 2022, a 3 percent increase from 2021. The figure was still 2.2 percent below the pre-pandemic 2019 total of $512.2 million. The single-year gaming revenue record for Laughlin was $631.2 million in 2007,” according to the Gaming Control Board.

In that regard, North Las Vegas and Laughlin are the only gaming markets across the state whose overall revenues have stayed below pre-pandemic profits.

Golden didn’t include income from its two Laughlin operating casinos in its latest earnings report, which was involved in the $406.9 million Nevada resort operations that also includes the STRAT Hotel and Casino & SkyPod.

Best location:

Commenting on the hotel-casino location last year, Blake Sartini, CEO and president of Golden Entertainment, said: “The Collorado Belle’s location along the Colorado River is a one-of-a-kind piece of property on the riverfront and has a multitude of potential uses.”

The hotel-casino consists of 1,200 hotel rooms and is the second biggest of Golden’s three facilities. First place is taken by Aquarius (1,900 rooms) and third place by Edgewater (1,052 rooms).

Century Casinos to finalize its $195 million purchase of Sparks Nugget in April:

After Colorado-based Century Casinos received tentative validation from Nevada regulators to buy Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks for $195 million, two days later, the company’s top executives offered their ideas for the facility.

Peter Hoetzinger, co-CEO of Century Casinos, said of the 1,382-room Nugget throughout the Century’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, which came 48 hours after the Gaming Control Board recommended validation of the acquisition from Marnell Gaming: “We are finalizing our plans for initial investments and upgrades, and I’m more excited than ever about the potential for improvements.”

The main purpose of the purchase:

With this purchase agreement, the Nugget will officially become Century’s leading casino-resort. The company already manages casinos in Missouri, West Virginia, Colorado and is currently shopping for a casino in Maryland.

In this regard, Mr. Hoetzinger said: “The immediate focus will be on the gaming floor as well as on raising the potential for synergy effects across all operational departments.”

The sale is scheduled to close throughout the first week of April. However, in order for the closing of the purchase to be completed, Century needs to receive final confirmation from Nevada regulators on March 23.

In this regard, he added: “Century would close on its purchase of the Rocky Gap Casino Resort later this summer.

“Century and VICI Properties teamed up to acquire the Western Maryland casino for a combined $260 million. 

“Century would pay down debt and return cash to shareholders once the casino purchases are closed.”

The developers of Brightline West have reached an agreement to engage in constructing trades:

Brightline West, the long-awaited high-speed rail system that would link Southern California with Las Vegas, got a stimulus last week when building trade unions in two states reported an agreement of understanding with the project’s developer.

The proposed rail system could increase traffic along I-15 and offer another way for Southern Californians to visit Las Vegas.

The agreement is predicted to create almost 10,000 construction jobs in California and Nevada.

But while the 218-mile system is still in development, officials from the California State Building and Construction Trades Council, the Southern Nevada Building Trades Union and developer Brightline West said: “The agreement is a positive step in moving forward with the project.”

In a statement, Mike Reininger, CEO of Brightline Holdings, said: “We continue to build a powerful coalition around Brightline West and our vision for high-speed rail in America.”

Commenting on the high-speed rail development, Brightline West developer said: “We will spend $10 billion to connect Las Vegas and Southern California through the Interstate 15 right-of-way, with trains capable of speeds up to 200 miles per hour. There will be a California-based station in Rancho Cucamonga that will connect to another station in Las Vegas, tentatively set for Las Vegas Boulevard, roughly 2 miles south of Mandalay Bay.”

More stations in California will be constructed in Hesperia and Apple Valley.