Casino Fandango's new GM has been there since beginning

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Court Cardinal has been named the new general manager at Casino Fandango.

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Court Cardinal has been named the new general manager at Casino Fandango.

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Carson City's largest casino has a new general manager who has spent his career in the Northern Nevada gaming industry.

Court Cardinal, 41, took over this week as general manager of Casino Fandango in South Carson City. He previously worked as assistant general manager and director of operations under Steve Forester, who retired in January.

"What we do works, and we're going to continue to improve upon that," he said Friday. "We have the Marriott coming, a new theater, a new restaurant and a casino expansion."

Cardinal heads a casino with 400 employees, 750 slot machines, three restaurants, 10 table games, its own race and sports book, and a poker room.

Cardinal is a Reno native and earned his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Nevada, Reno. His first casino job was during college.

"I've been in the casino industry off and on for 23 years, mostly on," he said.

Cardinal opened the Clarion in 1991, which is now the Atlantis in Reno. He went on to John Ascuaga's Nugget and then Alliance Gaming Corp., both in Sparks, which owned Rail City. He ended up back at the Atlantis before joining Olympia Gaming. Cardinal has been with Fandango since the beginning.

Olympia Gaming, of Las Vegas, owns Carson Gaming, which opened the 35,000-square-foot Casino Fandango at 3800 S. Carson St. in summer 2003. The popular gaming property has had a number of business successes since, including a 13,000-square-foot expansion, the opening of a $4 million parking garage in 2005 and the announcement early last year of a massive $40 million expansion project that includes a movie theater, Marriott hotel and second casino expansion.

The company also hired a new chief operating officer, Brenda Sanchez. She comes from a tribal casino and race track in Oklahoma.

Cardinal moved to Carson City in April 2004 with his wife, Marianne. He is a Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce board member and a trustee on the Independent Gaming Operators Coalition. Cardinal also has his pilot's license and is a member of the High Sierra Radio Controlled Airplane club.

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.


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