Las Vegas Sun

September 30, 2014

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PT’s Pub chain sold

A small Las Vegas gaming company is acquiring the 23-unit PT's Pub chain of video poker bars from a partnership that included a Canadian company.

PT's is the largest player in the booming Las Vegas neighborhood video poker bar industry. The bars typically operate 24 hours per day and have pool tables and other amenities with low overhead costs. Some, though, serve food and offer entertainment.

PDS Financial Corp., a public company that operates as PDS Gaming, today signed an agreement to acquire P.T. Gaming LLC from Revenue Properties Co. Ltd., Toronto, 50 percent owners of the partnership, and local partners Phil and Tom Boeckle. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close Sept. 1, were not disclosed.

The bars will continue to operate under the PT's Pub name. Company officials could not be contacted to determine the status of the chain's employees.

PDS, which a year ago made an unsuccessful bid to acquire the Four Queens hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas, owns the Gambler, a casino in downtown Reno. But the company's cornerstone business is the financing and leasing of gaming equipment.

In addition to financing and leasing slot machines, video poker games and table games, it also finances restaurant and hotel furniture, vehicles, surveillance equipment, computers and other office equipment for the gaming industry. In 1997 it developed an e-commerce division, known as the Casino Slot Exchange, which sells reconditioned slot machines through an Internet site.

Founded in 1988, PDS reported a fourth-quarter profit of $146,000 or 4 cents a share compared with a loss of $283,000, or 8 cents, in the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter, ended Dec. 31, was up 16 percent to $9.6 million.

"We are very excited with the agreement to acquire P.T. Gaming LLC, which should increase our company's revenues by almost 50 percent, or approximately $25 million annually," said Johan Finley, chairman and chief executive officer of PDS Gaming in a statement announcing the deal today.

"Upon completion of this acquisition, casino operations will represent approximately one-third of PDS Gaming's total consolidated revenues," he said. "We believe this acquisition provides PDS a leadership position and substantial growth opportunities in the locals gaming market."

Revenue Properties agreed in December to get out of the gaming industry and sell its stake in PT's Pubs when it received a $68 million (Canadian) takeover bid from Acktion Corp., a Toronto real estate and property management company. Acktion had been critical of Revenue Properties' involvement in gaming -- saying it was to the detriment of its real estate holdings.

PDS offered to buy the Four Queens for $30 million from Elsinore Corp. in March 2000, but the deal fell through a month later. PDS has gaming licenses in 10 states and with several Indian tribes.

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