Nevada Gaming Commission approves $850m property deal

The

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five members of the Nevada Gaming Commission have unanimously voted to approve Golden Entertainment’s $850m deal to acquire four casino properties in Nevada owned by American Casino & Entertainment Properties.

An $850m deal to purchase three properties in Las Vegas including the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower, Arizona Charlie’s Decatur and Arizona Charlie’s Boulder, as well as a fourth property, the Aquarius Casino Resort in Laughlin was agreed in June.

The company have agreed to pay $781m in cash up front, with a further 4 million shares in Golden being issued to the previous owner of the properties, Whitehall Street Real Estate Partners 2007 a real estate equity fund managed by worldwide fund managers Goldman Sachs.

In order to finance the cash part of the deal, Golden Entertainment have agreed refinancing deals with major US banks including JP Morgan Chase, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Macquarie Capital for a total of $1.1bn.

However the transaction has been awaiting approval from Nevada regulators since then. Now that approval has been given, the companies expect to complete the deal within the next few days.

Upon completion of the acquisition, Golden Entertainment will have more than 15,800 slot machines and 114 table games in eight casinos across the US, 5,100 hotel rooms, 56 taverns and 7,200 employees.

In an interview with the Las Vegas Review Journal, Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman Tony Alamo said: “This is actually two companies coming together, bringing the positives together.”

“The Stratosphere is iconic. Whenever you see Las Vegas, it’s always part of the landscape. It was probably put at the right place at the wrong time, 25 years too early. It’s in a very challenged area. Everyone comes to Vegas to see it, but they don’t want to stay there. But I think the north part of the Strip is going to revitalize.”

Nevada Commissioner Philip Pro praised the efforts of Golden Entertainment Chairman and CEO Blake Sartini, saying: “I think it’s so important the way you have assembled this team and your involvement,”

“You know the communities that you’re talking about, not just the gaming communities but the communities. It means something to you and that comes through in your presentation and it comes through in what you’re doing in each of these locales.”


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