Slot route operator Golden Gaming of Las Vegas last week acquired the northern Nevada route operations of Strategic Gaming Management.
Golden adds 870 slot machines in 118 locations and approximately 70 employees with the acquisition, which takes effect Jan. 1. Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed. With the deal, Golden Route Operations, a subsidiary of Golden Gaming, controls nearly 8,000 slot machines in 700 locations throughout the state and has just under 2,300 employees.
It’s the second large acquisition in the last two years for Golden — the firm in March of 2012 acquired the former Terrible Herbst slot routes that were controlled by Affinity Gaming. Golden Gaming also owns the Sparky’s locations in Reno and Sparks and built Sierra Gold on South Meadows Parkway in 2004.
Ross Gdovin, vice president of marketing for Golden Gaming, says executives at Golden Gaming had been working on the deal for the past few months.
“This acquisition further solidifies our commitment to the state and in particular to northern Nevada,” Gdovin says. “We see tremendous opportunity for growth. While the economy certainly is not back, in our eyes we see some upside on the horizon.”
Strategic Gaming Management had slots in some of the best-known retail brands in northern Nevada, including 10 Bully’s Sports Bar & Grill locations, Raley’s, all 33 of the regional 7-11s, Sneakers Bar & Grill, and eight Golden Gate Petroleum locations.
Jimmy Wadhams will head Golden’s northern Nevada operations. Craig Soper, a former Strategic Gaming team member, will be Golden’s lead account representative in northern Nevada. Soper has more than 20 years of route experience in the regional market.
Blake L. Sartini, chief executive officer of Golden Gaming, says the transaction is yet another example of his firm’s commitment to the northern Nevada gaming market. Sartini also says Golden is confident that the economic growth that powered the north state’s economy in the early to mid 2000s will return in full force.
The Sartini family founded Golden Gaming in October of 2001. Its gaming and resort properties include the Pahrump Nugget Hotel & Casino, Gold Town Casino and Lakeside Casino & RV Park in Pahrump.