Regulators OK Pahrump deal

Oct 10, 2006 4:28 AM

The Gaming Control Board last week recommended approval of Golden Gaming’s acquisition of the Pahrump Nugget Hotel and Gambling Hall.

The Nevada Gaming Commission will have the final say at its meeting next week.

Privately-held Golden Gaming, which has holdings in Nevada and Colorado, is buying the Nugget for an undisclosed price from Generation 2000, whose owners include New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and members of U.S. Sen. John Ensign’s family.

The Pahrump Nugget, built in 2001 on part of a 38-acre site, features 70 guest rooms, a locals-oriented casino with 553 slot machines, 10 table games, sports book, poker room, restaurant, bowling alley, and meeting and banquet facilities.

Golden Gaming, founded by Blake Sartini, operates 43 gaming taverns under the PT’s Gold and PT’s Pub brand names, and three casinos in Black Hawk, Colorado. It also operates some 2,500 slot machines at more than 200 Nevada locations.

Sartini said the property, located on the main intersection in Pahrump, is a good investment because of the area’s developing economy. It’s about an hour’s drive from Las Vegas via Blue Diamond.

Gaming Control Board Chairman Dennis Neilander said the deal is "a good one for the company and a good one for Pahrump."

In other action, the Board recommended GameTech International for licensing as a gambling device manufacturer and distributor and operator of inter-casino linked systems and mobile gambling systems — after a long discussions about past problems.

"To me, it’s still a work in progress," said board member Mark Clayton, who cast the single "no" vote in the 2-1 decision.

Company officials said progress had been made in correcting previous regulatory problems.

Reno-based GameTech develops and markets a complete line of electronic bingo equipment which includes terminals, accounting and management software systems.