The Nevada Gaming Commission has given the go ahead to Marnell Gaming LLC in the acquisition of the former John Ascuaga’s Nugget in Sparks. The decision comes just two weeks after the Gaming Control Board approved the deal. The acquisition should be finalized next month.
Earlier in April, federal officials announced that the entity who sold the casino back in 2013 was now facing a $1 million civil penalty. Sparks Nugget Inc was fined the large amount by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network for violating requirements based on anti-money laundering.
Anthony Marnell III, the CEO of Marnell Gaming, spoke to the control board and commission, assuring every official that the types of problems associated with the venue in the past would not happen with his company. Vegas Inc reports that Marnell reiterated that he takes the issue very seriously and remains confident in the measures enacted by the owners who are selling the property to him, as they are not subject to the fine.
Marnell stated that the current owners have done well to get control of a bad situation and he feels confident in what he is getting in to. Decisions by the current owners as well as the Marnell Gaming company working with the former chairman of the gaming control board has helped to ensure that compliance of anti-money laundering regulations will be following as the casino operates in the future.
During the commission meeting, concerns were mentioned about Anthony Magliarditi, an investor of the property, who never gave regulators information they had requested as part of the application process of Marnell Gaming. The legal team of Marnell Gaming as well as Anthony Marnell did not know why the information was not sent in by Magliarditi.
Because the information was not sent in by Magliarditi, the commissioners decided to vote for a restriction on the gaming license of the company. This restriction states that any revenue Magliarditi would be entitled to receive from the casino would be placed in an escrow account and will not be released until the Control Board Chairman has given approval. Magliarditi did not attend the meeting.
With the takeover, Marnell plans to add substantial improvements. His first priority is to install upgrades to the technological side of the casino, including player tracking and database systems. The west hotel tower of the Nugget as well as the convention center will also be upgraded.
Former Gaming Control Board Chairman, Dennis Neilander has been appointed by Marnell to oversee the company’s regulatory compliance committee.