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Gambling Regulators Approve Golden Gaming, Lakes Merger

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada gambling regulators say the owner of three Pahrump, Nevada casinos west of Las Vegas and 48 taverns across the state can merge with a casino company that owns a four-diamond casino-resort in Maryland.

Slot-route operator Sartini Gaming Inc. and Lakes Entertainment Inc. announced the all-stock merger valued at $341 million in January and said Thursday at a Nevada Gaming Commission meeting that they expect the deal to close Aug. 1 forming Golden Entertainment Inc.

Blake Sartini will be CEO and chairman of the new company that will include Lakes Entertainment's Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Cumberland, Maryland. Sartini says he expects the new company to grow by buying and building new casinos but he isn't eyeing specific locations yet. The company also has a gambling license in Montana.