Horace Langford Jr. / Pahrump Valley Times - The sports book kiosk pictured here is located next to the cage at Gold Town Casino. The kiosks there and at Lakeside Casino, as well as the full sports book at the Pahrump Nugget are now run by William Hill Race and Sports Book. The company controls 55 percent of the Nevada market.
TONOPAH — Brandywine Bookmaking LLC, dba William Hill Race and Sports Book, will now run the sports books at all three Golden Gaming casino locations in Pahrump, after approval by the Nye County Licensing and Liquor Board last week.
In other gaming news, Nye County Commissioner Dan Schinhofen said he wants to look at toughening up restrictions on obtaining non-restricted gaming licenses for all future applicants.
In the spring of 2011, William Hill, the largest land-based bookmaker in Great Britain, announced plans to acquire Brandywine Bookmaking LLC, which operated 16 Lucky’s sports books in Nevada. It also acquired American Wagering which operated 72 Leroy’s sports books. The Nevada Gaming Commission granted approval to the acquisitions in June 2012, together with the Cal-Nevada sports book in Reno. William Hill controls 55 percent of the Nevada sports book market.
Golden Casino Group Manager Jeremy Jenson said William Hill has been running the sports book at the Pahrump Nugget Hotel and Casino for six months. The expansion into the other two casinos comes after Golden Gaming, in February 2012, received approval from the gaming commission to acquire Terrible’s Town Casino, which was renamed Gold Town, and Terrible’s Lakeside, which is now just Lakeside Casino, from Affinity Gaming.
The Nye County Licensing and Liquor Board consists of the five county commissioners and the sheriff, who wasn’t present for last week’s vote. Afterwards, Sheriff Tony DeMeo described the county commission’s approval of the gaming license as more of a formality, after an extensive vetting process of the applicants by state gaming regulators.
Schinhofen agreed to approve the license after receiving assurances the Nevada Gaming Commission already gave its consent.
Gold Town and Lakeside have sports book kiosks that were formerly operated by Leroy’s, as opposed to a full sports book at the Pahrump Nugget. Jenson said bettors will notice a few changes.
“There’s just a very slight difference; they offer a little more, they have a little more offering on the side bets, that type of thing, but overall it’s really the same books,” Jenson said.
Under commissioners comments at the Aug. 6 meeting, Schinhofen wanted changes in the county gaming ordinance regarding non-restricted licenses.
“I’d like to bring the ordinance for gaming licenses to the board to look at. We’ve been asked to up the number of rooms required by a hotel before they can have a casino,” he said.
Schinhofen said there are at least five locations in Pahrump with unrestricted gaming licenses, which allows casinos to offer table games and more than 15 slot machines. That includes larger casinos such as the Pahrump Nugget, Saddle West and Mountain View. Those were grandfathered into regulations that require hotel rooms.
Schinhofen said other counties increased their requirements for hotel rooms.
“Most of them have 300 room minimums. I’m looking at 100. So if we don’t just have more casinos we attract more hotel rooms,” he said.
When asked for a comment, Jenson said Golden Gaming completely supports the change. He said the Pahrump Nugget has 69 rooms. “We need more rooms on the market. Gaming is a privilege in the state, it’s not a right. So I think if someone wants to come in and do it with an unrestricted gaming location they need to come in with some rooms. There are some counties that have increased the room requirement,” Jenson said. “It wouldn’t impact any businesses locally, it’s only if a new property came in.”
When the sports books came up for approval, Schinhofen asked how Gold Town Casino was allowed an unrestricted license without a hotel. Commission Chairman Butch Borasky said Gold Town, which Herbst Gaming opened in 1995 as Terrible’s Town, was grandfathered before the new regulations came into effect. Borasky said Herbst Gaming had plans to build a hotel as part of an expansion project at Terrible’s Town in 2007 but plans were later scrapped.
County Manager Pam Webster said when Gold Town was built there were no requirements for non-restricted gaming license holders to have hotel rooms. She said there is now a county requirement to have 45 hotel rooms.
One location, Irene’s Casino, was built over the site of the Cotton Pickin’ Casino to avoid having to obtain a non-restricted license.