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Lyle Berman’s Lakes to Merge with Golden Gaming

2013 World Series of Poker

Professional poker player and businessman, Lyle Berman announced that his Lakes Entertainment of Minnetonka will merge with Golden Gaming of Las Vegas and rename itself to Golden Entertainment, according to Star Tribune.

After selling off some casinos in Minnesota, Lakes will have a 64% stake in the combined publicly traded company. Lakes shares will be valued at $9.57 and will be 40% higher. Lakes owns just one casino in Maryland, and Lyle Berman said, “We were looking for one big deal. Our stockholders are gaming investors.”

Blake Sartini, CEO of Golden Gaming, will be chief executive of the merged company and Berman will be a board member and a consultant on the three year contract. Golden Entertainment will run 9, 000 slot machines and video lottery terminals in Maryland and Nevada. Berman expects the company to expand into other states after the merger has been completed.

Berman told Twin City’s magazine, “I’m probably winding down a little in this business community here. This is clearly a new phase in my business life.” Berman was born in the Twin Cities, but now resides in Nevada. The deal is expected to close in 6 months to a year, pending proxy and shareholder votes. The deal combines Lakes’ abundant cash with Golden Gaming’s expansion opportunities.

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