On Monday, Eldorado informed investors that it had reached a $385m deal to unload its West Virginia property Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort (pictured) along with two Missouri riverboat operations – the Isle Casino Cape Girardeau and the Lady Luck Casino Caruthersville – to Century and VICI.
Assuming regulators approve, Century will pay $107m for control of the three venues’ operations while VICI will pony up $278m to acquire the casinos’ land and real estate assets. The deal requires Century to pay VICI an initial annual rent of $25m on the three properties for the first 15 years, with four five-year renewal options.
Eldorado CEO Tom Reeg called Monday’s sale announcement “consistent with our continued focus on optimizing the results from our regional gaming platform, generating growth through strategic acquisitions and realizing value through sales.”
The sale may also indicate Eldorado’s desire to free up some cash and simplify its portfolio ahead of a possible deal to acquire Caesars. Eldorado has repeatedly been floated as a leading candidate to benefit from Caesars investor Carl Icahn’s desire to carve up Caesars’ casino empire into easily digestible chunks.
VICI was spun off from financially struggling casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corporation in 2017 as a way of realizing some ready cash. VICI has lately been expanding beyond its Caesars roots, including teaming with Penn National Gaming on deals for the Margaritaville Resort Casino in Louisiana and the Greektown Casino in Detroit.
The Colorado-based Century Casinos operates several properties in its home state along with venues in Canada, the UK, Poland and Argentina. Century co-CEO Erwin Heitzmann called the three Eldorado casinos “attractive assets in strong, stable markets,” while co-CEO Peter Hoetzinger said the deal would make Century “a premier regional casino operator in North America” with 10 venues on the continent.