98°F
weather icon Clear

Shareholders approve merger with Pahrump casinos owner

Lakes Entertainment shareholders approved the company’s merger with Las Vegas-based tavern and slot machine route operator Golden Gaming during a vote on June 17, the company said in a securities filing.

The transaction will create a new publicly traded company, Golden Entertainment. The Sartini family owns Golden Gaming, which is Nevada’s largest slot machine route company. The company also owns the Pahrump Nugget Hotel and Casino, Gold Town Casino and Lakeside Casino &RV Park, which account for more than 70 percent of Nye County gaming revenue.

Nevada gaming regulators are expected to consider the merger in July.

The $128 million deal also requires approval by regulators in Montana, where Sartini Gaming is licensed to operate a slot machine route. Maryland gaming regulators approved the merger last week. Lakes Entertainment owns the Rocky Gap Casino Resort near Cumberland.

The companies have said they hope to close the deal in the fall.

Golden Gaming CEO Blake Sartini and his family, which built the company in 2001 on the foundation of Southwest Services, will own 35.7 percent of the newly formed Golden Entertainment. Current shareholders in Lakes will get the remaining 64.3 percent of the business.

Lakes operates the Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Maryland. The transaction was valued at $9.57 per share on Jan. 26 — a market capitalization of more than $128.1 million.

The merger is expected to be completed by the end of the year and Golden Entertainment will be listed on Nasdaq. That transition into a publicly traded entity pulled the cover off Golden’s previously private financials.

On a conference call with analysts and investors in February, Sartini, who will become CEO and chairman of the new company, gave some color to the company’s status in Nevada.

Golden operates more than 7,600 slot machines in 650 locations statewide through its route business — more than double its nearest competitor. The company owns 48 taverns through five brands and the three Pahrump casinos.

“Collectively, Golden Gaming owns and operates nearly 8,700 gaming machines, has approximately 2,000 employees and is expected to generate nearly $300 million in net revenue and over $36 million of (cash flow) in 2015,” Sartini said in prepared remarks.

The merger is about the future. Sartini said the company will seek additional regional casino opportunities and will look to extend route operations outside of Nevada. He sees opportunity in 70,000 gaming machines and video lottery terminals in states such as Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, Oregon, West Virginia and South Dakota.

The new access to the public markets also means an additional vehicle for financing.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Exposure forces closure of Pahrump Justice Court

The Pahrump Justice Court announced Monday that it will be closed effective Tuesday, July 7 because of a COVID-19 exposure.

Tax deadline coming up on July 15

As the July 15 deadline for filing income taxes nears, the IRS is reminding taxpayers who have yet to file that IRS.gov has tools and services to help them meet their tax obligations.

Bars closed again in Nye, 6 other Nevada counties

Nye County was one of seven Nevada counties affected when the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services announced the elevated disease transmission criteria for determining whether a county must revert to Phase 1 of the state’s reopening plan for bars.

Appreciation Picnic honors Pahrump’s and Nye’s first responders

With red, white and blue decorations gracing tables, American flags and banners lining the fence and snapping in the breeze, balloons floating in the air and big smiles at the ready, area residents came together last week to honor the men and women who take on the duties of first responders for not just Pahrump but the entire county of Nye.

Pahrump pool season sinks amid lack of lifeguards

After the announcement that the 2020 Pahrump Community Pool season had been scrapped because of a lack of staffing applicants and the subsequent push to get more locals to apply for one one of the open positions that followed, the town of Pahrump was hoping that this year’s pool season would be saved.

UNR scientists make key advance in X-ray images

A team of scientists, led by University of Nevada, Reno’s Hiroshi Sawada, an associate professor of physics, demonstrated that numerical modeling accurately reproduces X-ray images using laser-produced X-rays. The images were obtained using the university’s chirped pulse amplification-based 50-terawatt Leopard laser at their Zebra Pulsed Power Lab.

Studies determine shutdown saved millions

Two separate research studies determined that shutdown orders prevented about 60 million coronavirus infections in the United States and saved about 3.1 million lives in 11 European countries.

Bicyclist dies after being struck by vehicle

A Pahrump man is dead after being struck by a vehicle while riding a bicycle Friday evening, July 3rd.

Camp Fire of 2018 leads to new wildfire research

Moved by the tragedy of the 2018 Camp Fire, a team of engineers and scientists are coming together in a new five-year project to develop a comprehensive computational, live digital platform to predict and monitor wildfire risk that can be used by wildfire managers, emergency responders and utility companies to plan for, respond to and remediate wildfires.