Baldini’s sold to Gaming and Leisure; Nugget’s integration into Century slowed

The Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks on March 10, 2023.

The Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks on March 10, 2023. Tim Lenard/The Nevada Independent

Baldini’s Casino in Sparks was part of a $110 million acquisition of three casinos last week by Gaming and Leisure Properties, a real estate investment trust. Strategic Gaming Management will continue operating the casino through a management agreement.

The other two casinos that were part of the sale are in Deadwood, South Dakota.

Baldini’s does not have a hotel but has a 43,000-square-foot casino with 492 slot machines, a race and sportsbook, several restaurants and bars and 600 parking spaces.

When the deal closes following regulatory approval, Gaming and Leisure will own six gaming properties in Nevada – Bally’s Lake Tahoe and the shuttered Tropicana Las Vegas (operated by Bally’s Corp.), Tropicana Laughlin (operated by Caesars Entertainment), M Resort in Henderson and the Horseshu and Cactus Pete’s in Jackpot (operated by Penn Entertainment).

“(Gaming and Leisure) is slowly but strategically building its pipeline of high-quality tenants to participate in the next wave of casino consolidation,” CBRE Equity Research gaming analyst John DeCree wrote in a research note last week.

The transaction expands Gaming and Leisure’s casino portfolio to 65 properties across 20 states with nine tenants. Strategic Gaming Management will pay $9.2 million in annual rent to operate the three casinos.

Gaming and Leisure is paying $105 million for the properties and is providing the operator with $5 million for capital improvement projects.

Also in the area, the integration of Sparks Nugget operations into Century Casinos' various systems has taken longer than anticipated, leading the Colorado-based company to report lower-than-expected first-quarter results.

Century acquired the Nugget, one of Northern Nevada’s largest resorts, 13 months ago for $195 million.

“Century continues to struggle to integrate recent acquisitions,” Stifel Financial gaming analyst Jeffrey Stantial wrote in a research note, adding that “more time is needed to stabilize the Nugget.”

This story was published May 22 by The Nevada Independent and is republished here with permission.


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