Golden Gaming Aims To Shine In Illinois By Offering VGTs

Written By Martin Derbyshire on July 7, 2017
shiny gold wall

Nevada’s largest gaming tavern operator is heading east.

In fact, Golden Entertainment, the parent company of the PT’s Entertainment Group and its 56 gaming tavern locations across Nevada, announced last week that the Illinois Gaming Board approved its application for a video gaming terminal (VGT) operator license.

To elaborate, the Illinois Gaming Board is allowing a subsidiary of Golden Entertainment to operate VGTs in liquor-licensed establishments across the state. This includes bars, restaurants, truck stops, social clubs, as well as veterans organizations.

However, the Illinois Gaming Board claims there were already over 26,000 VGTs operating in over 6,000 locations across Illinois as of as of May 2017.

PT’s Pub coming to Illinois?

It is not clear how Golden Entertainment plans to fit in. Plus, the company has yet to indicate whether it will bring its popular PT’s brand gaming taverns to Illinois.

In fact, Golden Entertainment Chairman and CEO Blake L. Sartini spoke only of participating in the Illinois market and considering opportunities in a press release announcing the Illinois Gaming Board decision.

“We thank the Illinois Gaming Board for its consideration and approval of our license application and look forward to participating in the state’s growing distributed gaming market,” he said.

“Given our significant experience and success in distributed gaming operations, including our position as the largest operator in Nevada and the second largest in Montana, we believe we can help current and new establishments that feature VGTs optimize their patrons’ entertainment experience. Illinois is an important and growing market for distributed gaming where we are considering both organic and acquisition opportunities to establish our presence.”

Golden Entertainment continues growing

Illinois is the fourth state where Golden Entertainment is licensed for gaming operations. In total, the other states include Montana, Maryland, and Nevada.

In fact, Golden Entertainment is Nevada’s largest operator of distributed gaming, with more than 7,500 devices in close to 700 locations. The company’s PT’s Entertainment Group is also Nevada’s largest traditional gaming tavern operator with 56 locations.

The gaming taverns operate under the brand names:

  • PT’s Pub
  • PT’s Gold
  • PT’s Ranch
  • PT’s Brewing Co.
  • Sean Patrick’s
  • Sierra Gold
  • SG Bar

The Las Vegas Valley alone is home to 54 PT’s Entertainment taverns.

The taverns typically feature bar-top video gaming devices as well as a menu filled with typical pub fare. Moreover, PT’s Entertainment Group properties are well known for their 50 percent off happy hour specials. Earlier this year they also started offering the company’s own craft beer.

Buying the Stratosphere in Las Vegas

Golden Entertainment actually operates more than 12,000 gaming devices and nearly 30 table games in Nevada, Maryland and Montana. Additionally, the company owns four casino properties. These include:

  • Rocky Gap Casino in Maryland
  • Pahrump Nugget in Pahrump, Nevada
  • Lakeside in Pahrump, Nevada
  • Gold Town in Pahrump, Nevada

Recently the company purchased American Casino Entertainment Properties for $781 million and 4 million shares of Golden stock.As a result of the deal, Golden Entertainment gained four more Nevada casinos:

  • Stratosphere Casino, Hotel and Tower in Las Vegas
  • The Aquarius Casino Resort in Laughlin
  • Arizona Charlie’s Decatur in Las Vegas
  • Arizona Charlie’s Boulder in Las Vegas

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Written by
Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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