weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Pahrump’s largest casino owner merges with Minnesota company

Golden Gaming, owner of three Pahrump casinos, announced Monday it will merge with Minnesota-based Lakes Entertainment, giving the Las Vegas-based company ownership of a Maryland casino while transitioning into a publicly traded corporation.

The newly named company will be called Golden Entertainment and will be traded on the Nasdaq replacing Lakes’ current listing. Golden Gaming CEO Blake Sartini will be CEO and chairman of the new company, which will be headquartered in Las Vegas.

“We believe that this transaction establishes a truly diversified gaming company, uniquely positioned to capitalize on a wide spectrum of opportunities,” Sartini said in a statement.

Lakes and Golden Gaming estimate the combined company would have 2015 revenue of $348.1 million and adjusted cash flow of $42.5 million.

Golden Gaming owns the Pahrump Nugget, Gold Town Casino and Lakeside Casino &RV Park locally, and is a slot route and tavern operator throughout the state. The three Pahrump properties employ more than 500 people and is Nye County’s largest employer.

Under terms of the merger agreement, Lakes was valued at $9.57 per share, which represented a 37 percent premium to its closing price Friday. Sartini would be issued more than 7.8 million shares of stock in the new company, a 35.7 percent ownership stake. Current Lakes shareholders would retain the remaining 64.3 percent of the company.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year and is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.

Privately held Golden Gaming, which was established in 2001 by the Sartini family, is Nevada’s largest slot machine route operator with more than 7,600 games in 600 statewide locations. The company’s tavern division has 48 locations under five brands. The company has 2,100 employees in Nevada.

Lakes Entertainment Chairman and CEO Lyle Berman will join the board of the new corporation and sign a three-year consulting agreement. Lakes President and CFO Tim Cope will be a board member and consultant to the new company.

Berman is a long-time gaming figure, having founded Grand Casinos Inc., the company that preceded Lakes. According to Yahoo Finance, Berman is Lakes’ largest stockholder with almost 3.7 million shares.

The new company will retain ownership of the Rocky Gap Casino Resort near Cumberland, Md., which is inside the Rocky Gap State Park. The 200-room hotel includes the only Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course in Maryland and a casino with 500 slot machines, a poker room and 10 table games.

As part of the transaction, Lakes plans to sell its 10 percent ownership in Rock Ohio Ventures, the company that owns 80 percent of the Horseshoe casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati and two racetracks in Ohio and Kentucky to a third party for $750,000.

In the third quarter, Lake reported a net loss of $23.1 million and net revenue of $15.9 million.

Shares of Lakes Entertainment gained 70 cents, or 10 percent, to close at $7.70 on Monday.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Two transported after collision at Hwy 160, 372

Two people were transported to Desert View Hospital following a two vehicle collision at the intersection of Highways 160 and 372 at approximately 1 p.m., on Thursday June 17.

Hit and run crash leads to power outage

A hit and run crash led to a power outage on Wednesday, according to authorities..

Cooling stations open in Pahrump

As triple-digit temperatures are expected to extend into next week and beyond in Pahrump, there are some area residents whose homes are not adequately adapted to handle the heat.

Social services fair deemed a success in Nye

The Nye County Social Services Fair attracted more than 200 families and individuals seeking information on the various services provided by the county and other area entities.

Nye County to receive additional $9 million in federal COVID monies

One year after the announcement that Nye County would be receiving $8.5 million in federal dollars thanks to the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act, a second round of federal monies is making its way to local governments and the county is expecting to receive another COVID-19 windfall, this time for over $9 million.

Zambelli prepping for Pahrump’s Fourth of July Fireworks Show

Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic derailed the traditional town of Pahrump Fourth of July Fireworks Show, forcing town officials to restrict access to the park and require that attendees stay in their vehicles to watch the fantastic display, much to the chagrin of the general public. This year, however, things are returning to normal and the entire community will have the opportunity to head out to Petrack Park on Independence Day and relax in the grassy fields for what Zambelli Fireworks crews are promising will be an incredible pyrotechnic experience.

Natural Vibes fundraiser to benefit Clean Up Pahrump

Natural Vibes Wellness and Nutrition Center is continuing in its mission to give back to the local community, with another fundraiser set for this coming Saturday and this time, the beneficiary will be Clean Up Pahrump, a nonprofit organization with the goal of dedicating time each week to picking up trash and removing debris from the valley’s roadways and stretches of unoccupied land.