Reno Resorts Brace for California Tribal Casino's Expansion

RENO (AP) - According to Reno gambling industry officials, a Sacramento-area tribal casino's expansion plans will force Reno resorts to step up their games to compete for the coveted California market.

The Thunder Valley Casino, run by the United Auburn Indian Community, adversely affected Reno casinos after it opened four years ago off Interstate 80 east of Sacramento.

Last week, Thunder Valley officials announced plans to add a 23-story hotel, ballrooms, a performing arts center and more casino space.

Ferenc Szony is chief operating officer of Herbst Gaming Northern Nevada, and oversees the Sands Regency, Rail City, Gold Ranch and Dayton casinos.

He says Reno resorts will have to make improvements to give California gamblers a reason to drive past Thunder Valley.

Reno gambling analyst Ken Adams says it's too early to assess what impact Thunder Valley's expansion would have.

Thunder Valley officials downplayed the impact of expansion on northern Nevada, saying they don't regard Reno as a competitor.

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