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Pahrump casinos could see re-investment from gaming deal, execs say

Golden Entertainment Inc. plans to use proceeds of a multi-million dollar gaming deal to enhance its commercial gaming operations in Pahrump, according to Blake Sartini II, executive vice president of operations for Golden and son of its CEO Blake Sartini.

Plans for investment in the local properties are still unclear.

Golden Entertainment owns Gold Town Casino, Lakeside Hotel & Casino and Pahrump Nugget Hotel & Casino.

Earlier this year, Gold Town unveiled a handful of new dining options at its casino on Highway 160, including Mister Tater’s and the Farmhouse Kitchen, a locally sourced dining experience.

The Nugget also debuted a Jimmy John’s in Pahrump this year.

A look at the deal

Before the Christmas holiday, the state gaming commission approved the sale and licensing of an Illinois company to take over the distributive gaming assets of Golden Entertainment that would make it the largest slot route operator in the country.

In a unanimous vote, commissioners approved licensing for Oak Tree Capital Management, the parent company of J&J Ventures Gaming, Effingham, Illinois, which will oversee 25,000 slot machines at 3,500 locations in five states.

Distributed gaming involves slot machine routes on which workers install, maintain and operate slot machines at bars, taverns, restaurants, grocery stores and convenience markets.

In March, Golden Entertainment, operators of the PT’s Pubs chain of taverns in Nevada, announced plans to sell its slot routes in Nevada and Montana to J&J for $213.5 million plus an estimated $34 million of purchased cash for the Nevada route and $109 million plus an estimated $5 million of purchased cash in Montana. The purchased cash is the amount inside the machines on the route.

At the time of the announcement, Golden also said it had entered a five-year agreement with J&J to support the gaming operations of Golden’s branded tavern locations in Nevada at financial terms consistent with the company’s past practice.

Golden Entertainment executives told state gaming regulators that in addition to investing in Pahrump, they’d also use some of the proceeds from the deal to revamp other casinos, including the Strat, Arizona Charlie’s and gaming properties in Laughlin.

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