Published: April 1, 2023

Effort to create Nevada lottery picks up steam despite casino industry opposition

A legislative proposal allowing Nevada to operate a state lottery could slice into the revenue stream of Northern Nevada casino operator Truckee Gaming.

But it wouldn’t be a large chunk of the company’s cash flow, said CEO Ferenc Szony.

Truckee Gaming is a retailer licensed by the California Lottery to sell tickets from a store adjacent to the Gold Ranch Casino & RV Resort in Verdi. The store’s lottery terminals sit on the California side of the state line in Floriston. Truckee employees who manage the lottery store are considered California workers, subject to state income taxes.

“It's a bit of an accounting nightmare for us,” Szony said.

But when the Powerball or other jackpots hit the nine-figure range, the lottery store is a busy place.

According to the California Lottery, Gold Ranch is the state’s second-largest seller of lottery tickets during multimillion-dollar jackpot events, trailing only the lottery store in Primm Valley. That outlet, operated by Las Vegas-based Affinity Gaming, is just across the state line from the company’s three Primm casinos. A spokeswoman for the lottery did not provide a revenue breakdown.

Szony considers the lottery store a marketing tool that draws customers to Truckee Gaming’s small Verdi casino, which has 250 slot machines, four food outlets, a gas station and a convenience store.

“We’re not making big bucks off the lottery, but it's something fun and different to have,” Szony said.

Nevada’s relationship with the lottery could soon change. A proposed constitutional amendment sponsored by Assemblyman Cameron (C.H.) Miller (D-North Las Vegas), AJR5, would repeal the state’s 159-year-old constitutional ban on lotteries. Miller said in an interview with The Nevada Independent that revenue generated by a lottery would be directed toward youth mental health programs.

© Public Gaming Research Institute. All rights reserved.