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Circa Sports To Operate Sportsbook At Legends Bay Casino In Northern Nevada

James Murphy
by in Gaming Industry on
  • Circa Sports will run the sportsbook at the new Legends Bay Casino in Sparks, Nevada.
  • It will be the first Circa Sports presence in Northern Nevada.
  • Circa is based in Las Vegas and operates sportsbooks at five properties in Southern Nevada. It also offers mobile sports betting throughout Nevada, Colorado and Iowa.

Las Vegas based Circa Sports is growing again. The company has announced that they’ll operate the sportsbook at the forthcoming Legends Bay Casino in Sparks, Nevada. The Legends Bay property is owned and operated by Las Vegas based Olympia Gaming and is slated to open in Summer 2022. This will be Circa’s first presence in Northern Nevada. Sparks, Nevada is a growing community of around 100,000 residents just East of Reno. The community has always had a significant gaming presence with the best known property likely the Nugget Casino Resort which has been open since 1955. Here’s what we said about the Nugget in an article about Century Casino’s recent purchase of the property:

The Nugget Casino Resort dates back to 1955 and has long been a favorite of Northern Nevada ‘locals’ as well as serious gambling enthusiasts. The property was originally known as ‘Dick Graves’ Nugget’ from 1955-1960, named for co-founder Dick Graves. In 1960, the property’s then-general manager John Ascuaga purchased the Nugget and his name went up on the marquee. It would enjoy its greatest success as John Ascuaga’s Nugget and would carry this brand until it was sold to Las Vegas based Global Gaming And Hospitality in 2013. It would henceforth be known as simply the ‘Nugget Casino Resort’. It was sold to Marnell Gaming in 2016 and they’ve owned it ever since. Ascuaga died in June 28, 2021 at the age of 96 and the sale comes less than a year later.

Sparks has historically been something of an industrial area–nicknamed ‘Rail City’–and has been a major railroad thoroughfare since the early 1900s when a large Southern Pacific switching yard opened there. More recently, it has been reinvented as a booming tech center with Tesla battery gigafactory and tech companies Switch and Google located nearby. It has grown dramatically as a residential area over the past few decades. The growth has been even more dramatic in recent years. In 1990, 53,367 residents lived in Sparks. The population has more than doubled since then, with the most recent tally at 108,087. Although there’s many new shopping and service options in Sparks, only recent has the gaming industry shown signs of keeping up with the growth.

This has not been lost on Olympia Gaming. In 2004, they opened the Casino Fandango in Carson City and have found considerable success. It was really the first modern style ‘locals casino’ in Nevada’s typically sleepy capital city:

Casino Fandango has redefined gaming in Carson City, Nevada. Featuring over 700 slots, 10 table games, a sports book, award-winning restaurants including Duke’s Steakhouse, 7,000 square feet of meeting and event space, a 10-screen, Galaxy theater multiplex and a 100 room Courtyard by Marriott hotel. Casino Fandango’s proximity to desirable vacation destinations, strategic location along US Highway 395, relaxed and friendly atmosphere and player-oriented approach, has allowed the property to enjoy popularity with locals and tourists alike

Their new project in Sparks is slated to be even larger and more ambitious:

Olympia Gaming is developing Legends Bay Casino, located in the heart of the 148 acre Outlets at Legends destination shopping and entertainment development off Interstate-80, six miles from the Reno-Tahoe International airport in Sparks, Nevada. Featuring a Northern Nevada contemporary style, the 80,000-sq. ft. facility will include a casino showcasing the latest slots, video poker, table games, a state-of-the-art sports book, and original dining and bar concepts. The casino will be seamlessly integrated into The Outlets at Legends to provide guests with an all-encompassing gaming and retail experience.

The ‘dining and bar concepts’ remain TBA but they’ll likely have a similar mix to their Carson City property which includes an entertainment venue, a 10 screen Galaxy Theater multiplex and a 100 room Courtyard by Marriott Hotel. As for the food and beverage at Casino Fandango:

Five casual and fine dining restaurants including Duke’s Steakhouse featuring 28-day dry-aged US prime beef, the 24/7 Palm Court Grill, Ti Amo Italian Grille, Shinsen Sushi, and Craft 55, a craft beer bar.

The product mix looks straight out of the Station Casinos/Red Rock Resorts ‘locals casino’ playbook. Part of the Stations Casino formula has always been a first rate sportsbook and that’s where Circa Sports comes in. Circa Sports is owned by Derek Stevens, better known as the owner of the Circa Resort & Casino in downtown Las Vegas. Stevens also owns two other downtown properties, the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino and The D Casino Hotel. In 2021, Circa Sports took over operation of the sportsbook at the Tuscany Suites and Casino just off the Las Vegas Strip. Later in the year, they assumed operations of the sportsbook at The Pass Casino on historic Water Street in Henderson. Meanwhile, they’ve been establishing a mobile betting presence as well. In addition to their Nevada app, they moved outside of the Silver State for the first time by launching in Colorado in 2020. They’ve since added Iowa to their portfolio.

Circa Sports CEO Derek Stevens is excited to be setting up shop in the Reno-Tahoe area:

“Legends Bay Casino will be a landmark opening for northern Nevada, and we are thrilled to partner with Olympia Gaming to introduce our brand to a new part of the state. We look forward to bringing an incredible sportsbook to the property, which will complement the other dynamic offerings Legends Bay will feature when it opens this year.”

Garry Goett, Chairman, CEO and President of Olympia Companies, is pleased to be partnering with a sportsbook considered to be a favorite of Nevada’s ‘sharp’ sports bettors:

“We are proud to partner with Circa to elevate the sports betting experience at Legends Bay Casino opening this year. This gives us a one-of-a-kind sports wagering offering, and creates the premier sportsbook destination in northern Nevada.”

For now, the sportsbook at Carson City’s Casino Fandango is operated by Caesars Entertainment owned William Hill. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see that change at some point in the future.

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