Boyd Gaming closes $100 million purchase of Illinois slot route operator Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · June 1, 2018 at 1:09 pm Boyd Gaming Corp. completed it’s $100 million purchase of an Illinois slot machine route operator, less than a month after announcing the transaction. In a one sentence statement Friday, Las Vegas-based Boyd said it now owns Lattner Entertainment Group Illinois, LLC, which operates nearly 1,000 gaming units in more than 200 locations across the state. When it announced the deal last month, Boyd said it would finance the transaction through cash flow from operations and availability under its existing credit facility.Slot machine route operators manage games for third party locations, such as bars, taverns, convenience stores, and other businesses. The slot route operators pay a space lease for the games or have a revenue share agreement with the location’s owner. In Illinois, Boyd operates the Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino in the central Illinois community of East Peoria and the Blue Chip Casino in neighboring Indiana. Also, Boyd is acquiring the Belterra Casino Resort in Florence, Ind., as part of its $575 million deal to purchase four Pinnacle Entertainment properties in the Midwest. That transaction is expected to close later this year.Illinois has become one of the nation’s largest distributed gaming states, with 28,403 video gaming devices operating at the end of January,14.2 percent more than a year ago. Penn National Gaming jumped into the Illinois distributed gaming business in 2015 with the acquisition of Prairie State Gaming. “The acquisition of Lattner is a strategic opportunity to further diversify and expand our business,” Boyd Gaming CEO Keith Smith said in statement last month. “Lattner will provide us a valuable new avenue to access gaming customers, and a platform to participate in the expansion of distributed gaming. We … look forward to establishing ourselves as one of the leading distributed gaming operators in the country.” Shares of Boyd closed at $38.61 Friday, up 86 cents or 2.28 percent on the the New York Stock Exchange. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.