Eldorado Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:ERI) said today it received approval from the Missouri Gaming Commission (MGC) to sell the Isle Casino in Cape Girardeau and the Lady Luck in Caruthersville to Century Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ:CNTY).
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, Inc. (NYSE:VICI) for $385 million. A week later, the Reno-based regional gaming company unveiled a $17.3 billion takeover offer for Caesars Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ:CZR).
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 finalized this month.
Eldorado received approval from the Missouri Gaming Commission (MGC) 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.
Coups For 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 center,” said Century 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.
Busy In Missouri
Eldorado, after announcing its takeover offer for Caesars, revealed several weeks later it would sell the Isle of Capri Casino Kansas City, Mo., to Twin River Worldwide Holdings. With the Show Me State sales, Eldorado will go from operating five properties there to two, with the remainders being the Isle of Capri in Boonville and the Lumiere in St. Louis.
Assuming no more divestments in the state take place, the combined Eldorado/Caesars will operate three Missouri casinos, with Caesars’ Harrah’s North Kansas City coming into the fold.
MGC officials haven’t commented on concentration risk there via the transaction that will create the largest US gaming company. But Eldorado may have made that a moot point by selling three venues prior to officially closing on its acquisition of Caesars.
When the takeover was revealed, some in the Wall Street community highlighted Missouri as prime territory for Eldorado to divest assets to allay regulators’ concerns.