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Golden Entertainment expanding slot operation in Montana

Nevada’s largest slot route operator is expanding its route operation in Montana with the acquisition of a company that has more than 1,800 machines there.

Golden Entertainment, which also operates the PT’s, Sierra Gold and Sean Patrick’s tavern franchises in Nevada as well as three casinos in Pahrump, is acquiring Billings, Montana-based Amusement Services LLC for $25 million. The deal, announced late Monday, is expected to close by the end of the month.

When the deal closes, Golden will operate nearly 3,000 slot machines in Montana, making it the second largest distributed gaming operator in the state. The company’s Nevada operation includes more than 12,000 machines.

It’s the second big move in Montana for Golden in three months. In January, the company acquired C. Lohman Games Inc., Rocky Mountain Gaming Inc., and Brandy’s Shoreliner Restaurant Inc. in a $20 million deal.

Golden CEO Blake Sartini views Montana as an attractive distributed gaming market.

“When considered with our January acquisition in Montana, we continue to demonstrate our ability to build and strengthen leadership positions in key attractive markets,” Sartini said in a statement announcing the deal. “When the transaction closes, we believe the company will have a leadership position among the largest distributed gaming operators in Montana.”

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Find him on Twitter: @RickVelotta

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