Last night, the Legends Bay Casino officially started operation as the first new casino to be established in Reno-Sparks in more than 20 years.
The grand opening of the casino was an extremely important event for Gary Goett, the CEO of Olympia Gaming, as he has been waiting years for the project to be up and running. Mr. Goett shared that the project took quite some time but the gambling operator’s team was extremely excited to see the casino finally open doors to welcome the local community.
A look at the first guests before the official public opening at 8:00 PM on August 30th took place revealed some of the most influential people from northern and southern Nevada, including local politicians, gaming executives and their guests. State Governor Steve Sisolak also attended the grand opening event, saying that the iconic gaming industry of Nevada is not only in Las Vegas but statewide. Ed Lawson, the Mayor of Sparks, agreed that it was a great night for the state.
Mr. Lawson, who was a member of the City Council before being elected as Sparks Mayor, still remembers the time when the land where the Legends Bay Casino is now hosted was acquired by Olympia Gaming more than a decade ago. Now, he is happy with seeing the project finally reach its finish line.
Legends Bay Becomes the First Casino to Open in Reno-Sparks for Over Two Decades
The proponents of the Legends Bay Casino have described the first casino that started operation in the Sparks area as a long-time economic booster for the city.
Apart from the tax contribution that the Legends Bay Casino is set to pay, the new gambling venue is also expected to employ about 300 people. Governor Sisolak noted that such a number of jobs is extremely important for citizens of a state that suffered a hard blow from the Government-imposed shutdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic. This point of view turns out to be true even for the northern part of the state, which has been trying to boost diversification away from gambling, especially after tribal gaming received federal approval more than 20 years ago.
Still, even with Northern Nevada not being as dependent on gambling as the Las Vegas area, the gambling sector remains extremely important for the region, according to Charlene Bybee who serves as a mayor pro tempore in Sparks. Ms. Bybee also highlighted the popularity of sports betting, including with younger audiences, as one of the main reasons why local officials could be optimistic about the sector, although there have been some changes in the industry over the last few years.
Some experts believe that the sportsbook service is what makes Legends Bay Casino actually competitive, as it is the first in Northern Nevada that would be run by Circa Sports, the company that currently operates the largest sportsbook in Las Vegas. According to Court Cardinal, Olympia Gaming’s Regional President, the gambling venue cost approximately $130 million to build.