On July 8th 2015, it was reported that the Golden Gaming have taken steps forward to expand beyond Nevada.
Initial permission has been granted by the Gaming Control Board for the merger of Golden Gaming and Lakes Entertainment. Once the merger has been completed, Golden Gaming will have control over the Maryland casino and transform Golden Gaming into a publicly traded company that will be called Golden Entertainment.
These merger plans were first announced in January and Golden Gaming said that it would pay $9.57 per share of Lakes. Golden Gaming will also receive 7.8 million shares in Lakes stock. The remaining stock will stay in the hands of the current Lake shareholders.
Blake Sartini, the CEO of Golden Gaming will still be the head of the merged company that will be headquartered in Las Vegas. He went on to say that it was an easy decision to join the two companies. He also said that Lakes has a strong balance sheet and the Rocky Gap Casino in Maryland will fit well with the current properties of Golden Gaming.
Golden Gaming runs three casinos in Pahrump and is also the largest slot route operator.
In recent years, Golden Gaming has grown. In 2012 they obtained two casinos from Affinity Gaming and a slot machine route operation and last year they bought 4 Irish themed taverns.
Golden Gaming is looking into the Montana market as well as other states along with Nevada expansion opportunities.
The merger has been approved by Lakes shareholders as well as Maryland regulators. The Nevada Gaming Commission will be the last step for final approval.