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Merger Combines Nevada Tavern Chain, Maryland Casino-Resort

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A stock merger valued at $341 million between a Las Vegas-based slot tavern chain and the owner of a four-diamond casino-resort in Maryland is complete.

Sartini Gaming Inc.'s Golden Gaming and Minnesota-based Lakes Entertainment Inc. said Monday that shareholders approved the deal first announced in January.

The combined company is Golden Entertainment Inc. and its NASDAQ trading symbol will change from LACO to GDEN starting Tuesday.

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The merger combines Sartini's 48 slot taverns, slot route operation and three Pahrump, Nevada casinos with Lakes' Rocky Gap Casino Resort in a Maryland state park.

The deal refinances the companies' debt with a new $160 million credit facility.

Nevada Senator and former state Gaming Control Board chairman Mark Lipparelli has joined the combined company's seven-member board led by CEO and chairman Blake Sartini.