Golden Entertainment is a gaming company based in Enterprise, Nevada that operates casinos, taverns, and slot routes. It was formed in 2015 by the merger of Golden Gaming (founded in 2001 by Blake Sartini) and Lakes Entertainment. It is the largest tavern operator and largest slot route operator in Nevada. In October 2017, the company completed an $850 million acquisition of American Casino & Entertainment Properties. The company operates eight casinos - seven in Nevada and one in Maryland.
Golden Gaming was formed in October 2001 as a result of Blake L. Sartini's acquisition of Southwest Gaming Services, a company he founded before selling to Station Casinos.
In 2002, the Golden Tavern Group subsidiary was formed, and it acquired the PT's chain of taverns.
In 2004, the company acquired its three casinos in Black Hawk, Colorado: the Golden Gates, Golden Gulch, and Golden Mardi Gras.
On July 5, 2006 Golden Gaming announced plans to acquire the Pahrump Nugget Hotel & Gambling Hall from Generation 2000. The sale received approve from the Gaming Commission on October 19, 2006.
In February 2007, Golden began a two-year deal to operate the casino at the Hard Rock Hotel while its new owner, Morgans Hotel Group, applied for a gaming license. Golden paid $20.7 million a year to lease the casino, and received a $3.3 million monthly management fee, plus a portion of revenue. Golden pulled out of the deal early when Morgans received its gaming license in January 2008, citing a desire to focus on its other operations.
Golden Gaming agreed in November 2007 to buy the Saddle West casino in Pahrump from Anthony Marnell III and Sher Gaming, but canceled the deal the following June, deciding instead to focus on the Pahrump Nugget, where it began an $11 million expansion and remodeling.
In 2010, Golden Gaming agreed to take over operation of four small casinos owned by The Siegel Group, previously operated by United Coin: the Gold Spike, Siegel Slots and Suites, the Resort on Mount Charleston, and Rumor.
In March 2012, Golden bought from Affinity Gaming the Terrible's Town Casino and Terrible's Lakeside Casino & RV Park in Pahrump and Affinity's slot route operation (except for Terrible Herbst locations). The deal made Golden the largest employer and largest gaming operator in Nye County, and the largest slot route operator in Nevada, with about 8,500 machines in 650 locations, making up 45% of the market. Affinity in turn bought Golden's three casinos in Black Hawk, which were valued at a total of $76–92 million.
Golden Gaming agreed in January 2015 to merge with Lakes Entertainment. Sartini would own 35% of the company and serve as its chief executive officer. The merger was completed on August 3, 2015, establishing Golden Entertainment.
The company expanded into Montana in 2016, purchasing slot routes with 2,800 machines for a total of $45 million.
In June 2017, Golden agreed to purchase American Casino & Entertainment Properties for $850 million, which would expand the company's casino portfolio by four: the Stratosphere Las Vegas, Arizona Charlie's Boulder, Arizona Charlie's Decatur, and the Aquarius Casino Resort.
In June 2017, Golden Entertainment was granted a gaming license by the Illinois Gaming Board to operate video gaming terminals at bars, restaurants, truck stops and fraternal and veterans organizations. This marked the fourth state Golden is licensed.
In October 2017, Golden Entertainment closed its $850 million purchase of American Casino & Entertainment Properties which expanded the company's casino portfolio by four: the Stratosphere Las Vegas, Arizona Charlie's Boulder, Arizona Charlie's Decatur, and the Aquarius Casino Resort.
Slot route operator with over 7,500 machines in Nevada and more than 2,800 games in Montana