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LAS VEGAS-The Nevada Gaming Commission late last week approved the $27.5-million sale of the Silver Nugget and Opera House casino properties in North Las Vegas. Southern Nevada real estate investor and businessman Jeffrey Fine is buying the properties from Gary Mahoney.

The Silver Nugget, Bowling Center and RV Park stood empty for a time in the late 1980s before it was brought back to life by Mahoney, according to the casino’s website. The property was built in 1964 by Major Riddle, who also was primarily responsible for the Dunes, Silver City and the Silverbird casinos, none of which are still in existence. No information was readily available regarding the Opera House property, which is located down the street from the Silver Nugget.

Fine is the nephew of Brian Greenspun, publisher of the Las Vegas Sun. Fine at one time ran Greenspun family’s development arm. Fine reportedly intends to renovate the hotel to better cater to heavily Hispanic neighborhood in which it is located.

The commission also approved Tom Celani as the operator of the Cal-Neva casino on Lake Tahoe’s north shore, which used to be owned by Frank Sinatra. Celani, who has held 20 gambling licenses but none in Nevada, is leasing the resort for $500,000 a year. He reportedly plans to invest $7 million to upgrade the asset and promote its “Rat Pack” history.

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