Delaware North Confirms Purchase of Illinois Route Gaming Business GEM

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MergerAlthough terms of the deal were not publicly disclosed on Thursday, mGamingWatch has learned that Delaware North, a global leader in hospitality and food service and an operator of regional destination casinos, has completed the acquisition of GEM, which just happens to be the third largest video gaming terminal (VGT) route operator in Illinois.

GEM operates nearly 1,800 VGTs at 438 sites – strategic, high-traffic locations such as bars, restaurants, convenience stores, truck stops, bowling alleys and fraternal organizations, a news release indicates.

Revenue is split approximately in thirds between the location owner, the VGT operator and the state, with a portion of the state share going to the local municipality, we’re told.

Illinois limits route locations to a maximum of five VGTs and puts lower limits on wagering and payouts than what patrons experience at casinos. Nonetheless, the industry has experienced steady growth in the state since the Illinois Regulated Route System went live in 2012, and GEM’s growth has been significant, especially with the September 2015 acquisition of a smaller operator.

“The acquisition of GEM, which operates the equivalent of a large gaming venue but spread over the entire state, complements our traditional casino portfolio and positions us for growth in this emerging sector,” said Brian Hansberry, president of Delaware North’s gaming business.

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