Golden Entertainment heads into Montana with completion of $20M transaction

Tina Gonzalez of Las Vegas plays the slots at the Golden Gaming area inside a Vons Supermarket in Las Vegas on Friday, February 1, 2013.

Golden Entertainment Inc. has wrapped up its $20 million acquisition of about 1,000 gambling devices in Montana, the Las Vegas-based company said today.

The transaction brings yet another market into play for Golden Entertainment, which already has a huge presence in Nevada and a casino in Maryland. The company made it clear during its merger with Lakes Entertainment last year that it planned to expand into Montana.

“Entering the Montana gaming market is an exciting opportunity to expand our disciplined operating strategy to new markets and diversify the geographic reach of our distributed gaming operations,” CEO Blake Sartini said in a statement.

Sartini said the Montana transaction should be “immediately accretive” to his company’s operating results.

Golden Entertainment said in the company statement that it bought the Montana devices from C. Lohman Games Inc., Rocky Mountain Gaming Inc. and Brandy’s Shoreliner Restaurant Inc. Those businesses were “involved in the installation and operation of gaming and amusement devices” in Montana, in addition to maintaining ATMs, according to the statement.

About 50,000 shares of the company’s common stock were included in the transaction, which was funded with excess cash and available credit, the statement said.

Beyond its Montana expansion, Golden Entertainment is also growing in Nevada. The company said it’s opening six properties in Las Vegas this year, including its first brewery and a new Sierra Gold tavern at the location formerly home to the Sedona Restaurant & Lounge on West Flamingo Road.

Golden Entertainment already runs dozens of taverns in Nevada under brands that include PT’s, Sean Patrick’s and Sierra Gold. The company is also Nevada’s leading slot machine route operator, with thousands of machines inside business such as grocery stores. In addition, the company owns three casinos in Pahrump and the Rocky Gap casino in Maryland.