Sparks Nugget improves race and sports book 

John Ascuaga’s Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks has partnered with Lucky’s Race and Sports Book, a major race and sports book operator.

Over the years, the Nugget has run its own sports book or contracted out. Now, Lucky’s, which operates and manages 13 race and sports books in casinos throughout Nevada, will provide the Nugget with sports betting services and the Nugget will staff the operation with its own employees.

Lucky’s has “an established, respected level of sports gaming capabilities that Nugget guests have come to expect,” said Stephen Ascuaga, chief operating officer at John Ascuaga’s Nugget. “Our focus is to provide an inviting, unassuming place to enjoy the games, with convenient access, daily $1 drink specials and televisions everywhere you turn.”

Joe Asher, Lucky’s president and CEO, said the partnership will offer a wider variety of betting options to Nugget customers.

In addition to more sports betting options, there will be pari-mutuel horse racing, allowing bettors to wager on tracks nationally. Nugget customers can participate in Lucky’s promotions and race handicapping seminars, and can earn Nugget players’ club dollars.

The Nugget’s sports betting area remains in the lower level and is being remodeled to include new flat-screen TVs. A bar, Gabe’s Pub, is located within the sports book area. The deli has daily specials, a full grill and salad bar.

Sports betting is legal and state-regulated in Nevada.

Besides the Nugget, the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno and some smaller casinos, Brandywine Bookmaking LLC, using the Lucky’s brand name, is the exclusive bookmaker for the state of Delaware’s sports lottery and for the sports book at casinos in St. Kitts.

The Nugget opened as a 60-seat coffee shop with a few slot machines in 1955. John Ascuaga bought it in 1960, growing it into a full-service resort, with two 29-story hotel towers, casino, entertainment, food and conference and spa operations.

Last year, the Nugget completed a $20 million remodel, and two months ago, a $1 million renovation of its conference center.

This month, the Nugget started offering a happy hour special of $1 Coors beer or $1 margaritas at any of its bars. It’s also added daytime restaurant specials at $6.95 and late night steak and eggs for $4.95.

Nugget restaurants have developed special Thanksgiving Day-only menus created by the chefs at the casino’s various restaurants.

Saturday night in the Rose Ballroom, Nugget club members can take a chance in a $150,000 top prize drawing hosted by legendary TV game show host Bob Eubanks. Winners have a choice of a new home or the cash; there are other prizes and you must be present to win. For more details check out www.janugget.com.

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