A Colorado-based casino company announced on Monday that it has entered into an agreement to purchase operating assets at Isle Casino Cape Girardeau and has indicated a hotel could be added to the property in the future.
In addition, Century Casinos announced that it is buying operations from Lady Luck Casino in Caruthersville, Missouri, and the Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort in New Cumberland, West Virginia. All three are owned by Eldorado Resorts Inc. in Reno, Nevada
Century Casinos, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said it buys games and other operations on the three capabilities of about $ 107 million. Meanwhile, VICI Properties Inc., a real estate investment company based in New York, acquires the real estate assets of the three properties for approx. $ 278 million and will lease them back to Century Casinos.
"These are three quality assets in strong and stable gaming markets, each with a leading regional position and each with a long track record of producing solid and growing profitability," said Century Casino President and Director Peter Hoetzinger at a Conference Call Conference Monday, the two Missouri casinos and the West Virginia property "basically double the size of our business."
Company officials said the transaction is expected to close in early 2020, pending antitrust approval and approvals from the Missouri Gaming Commission and the West Virginia Lottery, "as well as other usual closures."
Lyle Randolph, vice president and general manager at Isle Casino here, said in a telephone interview w he learned from the pending sale late Sunday evening in a phone call from Eldorado Resorts. Randolph has so far said that it is "business as usual" on the Cape Girardeau casino and he does not expect significant changes in casino operations at least until the sale is completed.
"Nothing will change until that time," said.
Century Casinos operates casinos and other gaming operations in Cripple Creek and Central City, Colorado, in Edmonton and St. Albert in Alberta, Canada and in Bath, England. The company also has a lot of interest in gaming activities in Poland and Canada and operates several ship-based casinos in agreements with a few cruise ships.
The acquisition of the gaming operations in Cape Girardeau, Caruthersville and West Virginia will significantly expand the new century's North American operations, said company officials.
In a conference call with media and investors, Hoetzinger said that the new properties fit well with the New Century's casino operations portfolio.
"We chose these three casinos because they met all our criteria," he said. "They are medium-sized operations targeting the local market customer, they have generated strong and stable cash flows for many years, allowing them to increase growth through operational improvements (and they significantly improve our scale and presence in North America)."
When asked during the call, what types of "operational improvements" the company could make in Cape Girardeau and Caruthersville operations, said Century Casino chairman and co-managing director Edwin Haitzmann that it was "too early to speak" in detail, however, he noted the company can look at buying and upgrading a small hotel adjacent to Lady Luck estate and "in Cape Girardeau there are plans to build a hotel." But he said adding a hotel adjacent to the Isle Casino probably wouldn't happen right away.
VICI Properties owns 23 gaming facilities across the country, including Harrah's Metropolis in Metropolis, Illinois; Bluegrass Downs in Paducah, Kentucky; Harrah's Kansas City; and some properties in Tunica, Mississippi near Memphis.
"They own the property, but they don't run the casinos," Randolph said.
In a press release released Monday, VICI President and CEO John Payne said the company's real estate business in Cape Girardeau, Caruthersville and West Virginia "demonstrates VICI's ability to make acquisitions that provide value to our shareholders while diversifying our rental base and Extends our geographical footprint to a new market, West Virginia, We are happy to be a partner of the century as they are experts operators of small to medium-sized regional assets and have begun their expedition in the US market. "
Isle Casino opened in 201
Lady Luck in Caruthersville is a riverboat casino that opened in 1995. The Dockside operation has 21,000 square feet of casino space, just over 500 slot machines, nine board games, two dining venues and a 40,000 square foot pavilion.
Mountaineer property in West Virginia is a hotel, casino, entertainment and horse racing facility an hour from downtown Pittsburgh. The property opened in 1951 with the casino opening in 1994. It has a 357 room hotel, nearly 1,500 slot machines, 36 table games, a poker room, a racetrack and five dining options.
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