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Sartini II appointed new Golden Entertainment COO as Arcana becomes CDO

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Golden Entertainment has announced the appointment of Blake Sartini II as chief operating officer (COO), replacing Steve Arcana, who has become the business’ first ever chief development officer (CDO).

The personnel changes became effective on 20 March but were announced on Monday (25 March). Sartini II will continue in his role as executive vice-president of operations at Golden Entertainment.

Sartini II joined Golden Entertainment back in 2007. Since then, Sartini II has acquired direct responsibility for the business’ five local casinos in Las Vegas and Pahrump.

Arcana, meanwhile, has assumed the newly created role of the company’s chief development officer (CDO). He will be tasked with finding opportunities to “unlock value” in Golden Entertainment’s excess real estate in Las Vegas, Laughlin and Pahrump.

Arcana has been with the business since 2003 and has overseen its operations in becoming a publicly traded company with a casino and tavern portfolio.

In the announcement, Blake Sartini, Sartini II’s father, said: “These management changes will allow Golden to focus on maximising performance in our core operations while exploring opportunities to drive future improvement by bringing potential new concepts to our existing portfolio.

“I am confident the changes to Blake’s and Steve’s roles with the company will position us well to create additional shareholder value.”

Golden Entertainment records 2023 net profit despite Q4 struggles

The sale of assets such as Rocky Gap to Vici Properties and Century Casinos in a deal worth $260.0m pushed Golden Entertainment to a 2023 net profit of $255.8m (£202.6m/€236.6m) from $82.3m on the back of the sales.

The sales resulted in proceeds of over $600.0m, generating more than $500.0m of liquidity after taxes and transaction expenses.

However, the sales also led to a sharp drop in gaming revenue. For the 12 months to 31 December 2023, revenue was down 6.2% to $1.05bn.

Revenue reached $230.7m in Q4, down 17.5% to $230.7m. Again, this was due to a drop in gaming revenue, which fell 25.0% to $138.7m.

CFO Protell considering M&A after divestment

Following the sale of Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Maryland in July, Golden Entertainment president and chief financial officer Charles Protell suggested the operator could explore mergers and acquisitions to help create more value for the business.

“We have capacity to go out and look for deals,” Protell explained. “I think those opportunities for us would need to be in the west – casinos or portfolios of a more meaningful size. And importantly, where we think we can create value through synergies in the operations with our existing portfolio.

Sartini, meanwhile, stated the sales will further strengthen the balance sheet and the company’s liquidity. $175.0m of the Rocky Gap casino resort sale was attributed to repaying outstanding loan debt.

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