Sparks casino sold to Montana investors

Jan 2, 2009 11:09 PM
Staff & Wire Reports |

Baldini's Sports Casino in Sparks has been sold by the Baldwin family to a group of investors from Missoula, Mont., according to an official involved in the deal.

Grant Lincoln, an investor and president and CEO of United Coin Machine Co., said the group took ownership at midnight Wednesday.

The new owners will lease the casino operations that include 600 slot machines to Las Vegas-based United Coin, which was approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission earlier this month to run the casino.

Lincoln said current management will remain intact and no layoffs are planned.

"We don't plan any significant changes," Lincoln told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "We bought it for what it is.

"We are not coming in from Montana to try and reinvent the wheel. We like the facility exactly how it is and we intend to be good shepherds."

Baldini's was founded by Donald Baldwin, former owner of a supermarket chain who turned to casino gambling in 1988.

The local sports casino has been run by Baldwin's children, son Monty Baldwin and daughter Sherry Pringle.

Pringle, in an earlier interview with the newspaper, said the casino was successful because her father concentrated on local clientele.

"That was always dad's focus, the working, hard-hat local person," Pringle said.

"If we gave them a fair deal on food and value, they would be back to support us and that is what happened."

Lincoln said Baldini's strong customer base made it an attractive purchase.

"I love to look at buying an institution," Lincoln said. "It is like a brand name all its own."

He also said he's confident Reno's economy will improve soon.

"I would say that we are bullish on Reno. Everybody is getting whacked in this economy and I think Reno may have gotten whacked earlier and more often than a lot of places," he said.

"We really think that the bottom has been hit in Reno."