Eldorado’s sale of three casinos approved

By Ethan Anderson Updated
Louisiana law change means big business for Eldorado

Eldorado Resorts said it received approval from the Missouri Gaming Commission this week to sell the Isle Casino in Cape Girardeau and the Lady Luck in Caruthersville to Century Casinos.

In June, Eldorado announced the sale of those gaming properties, along with the Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort in West Virginia to Colorado-based Century and Vici Properties for $385 million.

A week later, the Nevada-based regional gaming company unveiled a $17.3 billion takeover offer for Caesars Entertainment Corp.

Century Casinos is paying $107 million for the operating rights for the three venues, while Vici is shelling out $278 million for the real estate assets.

The Colorado company said it expects the deals to be finalised this month.

“Eldorado received approval from the Missouri Gaming Commission in connection with its pending acquisition of Caesars Entertainment Corporation,” said the regional gaming company in a statement.

“The transaction is expected to be consummated in the first half of 2020.”

In late September, the West Virginia Lottery Commission signed off on Eldorado’s plan to sell Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack to Century.

The purchases are important for Century because they help the company expand its domestic footprint outside of Colorado.

The company operates 10 land-based gaming properties, but only its two Colorado venues are located in the US.

“Isle Casino Cape Girardeau opened in 2012 and consists of a dockside casino featuring 41,500 square feet of casino space, 851 gaming machines, 24 table games, three dining venues, a pavilion and an entertainment centre,” Century said in a statement.

Analysts are bullish on Century’s domestic expansion efforts, with at least one saying the current share price doesn’t reflect the benefits of the aforementioned purchases from Eldorado.

Lady Luck Caruthersville, a riverboat casino, “consists of a dockside casino featuring 21,000 square feet of casino space, 513 slot machines, nine table games, two dining venues, a 40,000 square foot pavilion, and a 28-space RV park,” according to Century.

Eldorado sells two properties

Casino operator Eldorado Resorts has unloaded two of its properties to rival Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Calvin Ayre reports.

Last Thursday, Eldorado announced that it had reached a deal to sell its Isle of Capri Casino Kansas City in Missouri and its Lady Luck Casino Vicksburg in Mississippi to TWH for $230 million in cash, subject tot a working capital adjustment.

The deal, which remains subject to regulatory approvals, expected to close early next year.

Eldorado says it plans to use the cash for general corporate purposes, including its recent $17.3 billion acquisition of rival Caesars Entertainment.

That deal was expected to result in the trimming of multiple properties from the two firms’ respective property portfolios, and the cuts are likely far from over.

TWRH has been undergoing its own enlargement of late, including a deal for three Colorado casinos and its merger with Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment.

TWRH chief executive officer George Papanier said the two Eldorado venues were “a great fit for our portfolio” and would expand his company’s geographic reach into “attractive markets.”

TWRH owns and operates two Twin River casinos in Rhode Island under a long-term agreement with the Rhode Island Lottery, which under the state constitution is responsible for nearly game all games of chance.

IGT contract a source of conjecture

Late last week, TWRH began raising hell about the state’s controversial no-bid deal with the Lottery’s tech supplier International Game Technology to extend IGT’s lottery contract, which allows IGT to provide 85 per cent of the electronic gaming machines at the two casinos.

TWRH executives have claimed that, of its three EGM suppliers, IGT’s are by far the worst revenue generators.

TWRH has also accused the state of side-stepping its own purchasing laws by not holding an open tender for the EGM contract.

On Tuesday, IGT chairman Robert Vincent fired back, telling local media that there was no need for an open tender when both parties to the existing deal were satisfied with the arrangement.

Vincent also claimed that TWRH approached IGT on May 20, seeking a 50 per cent share of the EGM supplier contract in exchange for publicly supporting IGT’s deal extension.

Vincent claims the gist of TWRH’s pitch was “you’re not going to get this without us”.

Vincent added that the proposal was “not given serious consideration and rejected immediately.”

TWRH executive VP Marc Crisafulli responded to Vincent’s claims by claiming that TWRH was compelled to act after learning on May 11 that IGT and the state had reached a tentative deal that would have given IGT 100 per cent control over the state’s EGMs.

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