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MGM Resorts International And MGM Growth Properties Complete Transaction To Acquire Empire City Casino In Yonkers, New York

George Miller

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MGM Resorts International And MGM Growth Properties Complete Transaction To Acquire Empire City Casino In Yonkers, New York
Photo Source: cbslocal.com
Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

MGM Resorts International and MGM Growth Properties LLC announced that they have completed the transactions for the acquisition of Empire City Casino in Yonkers, New York (“Empire City”). Following MGM Resorts’ acquisition of Empire City for approximately $850 million, MGP acquired the developed real property from MGM Resorts for approximately $625 million and leased it back to a subsidiary of MGM Resorts that will operate the property.

“We are pleased to welcome the 1,200 employees at Empire City Casino to the MGM Resorts family,” said Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts. “Over the past three years, we have established a meaningful presence in the northeast with Borgata in Atlantic City, MGM National Harbor in Maryland, and MGM Springfield in Western Massachusetts. With this new addition to the MGM Resorts portfolio, we have now gained a foothold in the high-density New York City region and we look forward to leveraging the MGM platform to maximize value in this evolving marketplace.”

“What’s incredibly exciting is the amount of opportunity MGM Resorts will bring to the employees at Empire City, as well as Westchester County, the city of Yonkers, and the State of New York,” said Timothy J. Rooney, President and CEO of Empire City Casino. “With destinations throughout the world, from resorts to casinos to entertainment, MGM has a tried-and-true formula for success. They know how to build and grow properties that continually raise the bar in entertainment, travel, and leisure, and we are so thrilled to leave Empire City in MGM’s capable hands. What’s more, the potential for growth at Empire City has absolutely no boundaries. MGM will truly provide Empire City employees and the property’s guests with the resources and opportunities to make the casino and track into something we haven’t even yet realized. I cannot wait to see what’s to come!”

“Today, we continue to expand MGP’s best-in-class portfolio with the acquisition of the real estate assets of Empire City, expanding our geographic footprint to the New York City metropolitan area,” said James Stewart, CEO of MGM Growth Properties. “This financially accretive transaction further diversifies our existing market-leading regional portfolio and provides us with additional growth opportunities with a Right of First Offer on any potential capital improvements in the future. This is another excellent example of the power of our partnership with MGM Resorts.”

MGM Resorts’ funded the acquisition with approximately $360 million of cash on hand, the issuance of approximately 9.4 million shares of common stock, based on a volume weighted average price of a share of the Company’s common stock for a ten-trading-day period prior to the closing date, and the assumption of approximately $246 million in indebtedness. MGM Resorts has also agreed to pay an additional $50 million if Empire City is awarded a license for live table games on or prior to December 31, 2022 and MGM Resorts accepts such license by December 31, 2024.

MGP funded the acquisition of the developed real property from MGM Resorts through the assumption of approximately $246 million of indebtedness, which was repaid with borrowings under its senior secured credit facility, and the issuance of approximately 13 million operating partnership units to MGM Resorts based upon MGP’s closing price of $29.38 as of May 25, 2018. In addition, MGM Resorts has agreed to give MGP a right of first offer with respect to certain undeveloped land adjacent to the property to the extent MGM Resorts develops additional gaming offerings and chooses to sell or transfer the property in the future.

Empire City was added to the existing Master Lease between MGM Resorts and MGP, and the initial rent payment to MGP increased by $50 million. Consistent with the Master Lease terms, 90 percent of the increased rent will be contractually fixed to grow at two percent per year until 2022, and thereafter will continue to grow provided a tenant revenue to rent ratio is met. The remaining 10 percent is payable in percentage rent.

Empire City sits on a 97-acre property and serves approximately 16 million eligible gaming customers in southern New York. It is located only 15 miles from Times Square in Manhattan. Offering gaming, racing, dining, and entertainment, Empire City features over 5,200 of the latest slots and electronic table games, multiple dining outlets, and both live and simulcast horse racing.

BofA Merrill Lynch acted as exclusive financial advisor to MGM Resorts in connection with the transaction. PJT Partners LP is acting as financial advisor to the conflicts committee of the MGP Board of Directors.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

 

About MGM Resorts International

MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is an S&P 500® global entertainment company with national and international locations featuring best-in-class hotels and casinos, state-of-the-art meetings and conference spaces, incredible live and theatrical entertainment experiences, and an extensive array of restaurant, nightlife and retail offerings. MGM Resorts creates immersive, iconic experiences through its suite of Las Vegas-inspired brands. The MGM Resorts portfolio encompasses 29 unique hotel and destination gaming offerings including some of the most recognizable resort brands in the industry. Expanding throughout the U.S. and around the world, the company acquired the operations of Empire City Casino in New York in 2019, and in 2018, opened MGM Springfield in Massachusetts, MGM COTAI in Macau, and the first Bellagio-branded hotel in Shanghai. The over 82,000 global employees of MGM Resorts are proud of their company for being recognized as one of FORTUNE® Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies®.

About MGM Growth Properties

MGM Growth Properties LLC (NYSE:MGP) is one of the leading publicly traded real estate investment trusts engaged in the acquisition, ownership and leasing of large-scale destination entertainment and leisure resorts, whose diverse amenities include casino gaming, hotel, convention, dining, entertainment and retail offerings. MGP currently owns a portfolio of properties, consisting of 11 premier destination resorts in Las Vegas and elsewhere across the United States, the Park, a dining and entertainment complex which opened in April 2016, and the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park in Northfield, OH. As of December 31, 2017, these properties collectively comprise approximately 27,500 hotel rooms, 2.7 million convention square footage, 150 retail outlets, 300 food and beverage outlets and 20 entertainment venues. As a growth-oriented public real estate entity, MGP expects its relationship with MGM Resorts and other entertainment providers to attractively position MGP for the acquisition of additional properties across the entertainment, hospitality and leisure industries.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this release that are not historical facts are “forward-looking” statements and “safe harbor statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks and/or uncertainties, including those described in MGM Resorts’ and MGP public filings with the SEC. MGM Resorts and MGP have based forward-looking statements on management’s current expectations and assumptions and not on historical facts. Examples of these statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the Company’s ability to generate future growth at Empire City. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in such forward-looking statements include effects of economic conditions and market conditions in the markets in which MGM Resorts and MGP operate, competition with other destination travel locations throughout the United States and the world, the design, timing and costs of expansion projects, risks relating to international operations, permits, licenses, financings, approvals and other contingencies in connection with growth in new or existing jurisdictions and additional risks and uncertainties described in   MGM Resorts’ and MGP Form 10-K, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K reports (including all amendments to those reports). In providing forward-looking statements, neither MGM Resorts or MGP is not undertaking any duty or obligation to update these statements publicly as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. If MGM Resorts updates one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that it will make additional updates with respect to those other forward-looking statements.

Source: MGM Resorts International; MGM Growth Properties LLC

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Gambling in the USA

Legal Sports Betting Begins in New York Casinos

Niji Narayan

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Legal Sports Betting Begins in New York Casinos
Photo Source: sportsnet.ca
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

New York Casinos have started legal sports betting. Bettors placed their first wagers on pro sports games following the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a ban on the practice last May. Gamblers at the Rivers Casino near Schenectady plunked down bets on the New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners and tennis phenom Varvara Lepchenko.

“We’re going to get mobile sports betting before the middle of next year, it just has to be, because right now New Jersey is cleaning our clock when it comes to sports betting. I think New York should always be at the forefront of everything and right now we’re a little bit behind them,” Assemblyman Gary Pretlow said.

Sports betting is expected to raise millions of dollars as tax revenue. But proponents say the state is losing out on millions more because bets can only be placed at four upstate casinos rather than online and via mobile phone as is allowed in New Jersey.

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Gambling in the USA

Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady Makes History with Opening of New Sportsbook Lounge

George Miller

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Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady Makes History with Opening of New Sportsbook Lounge
(L to R) Rush Street Gaming Co-Founder and CEO, Greg Carlin; Schenectady, New York Mayor, Gary McCarthy; Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady General Manager, Justin Moore
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

 Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady officially launched legal sports betting in New York State with the opening of its new Rivers Sportsbook lounge.

 

“We’re so proud to be the first gaming operator in New York to take legal sports bets,” said Rivers Casino & Resort Acting General Manager Justin Moore. “Many people worked very hard to make legal sports wagering a reality in New York State, and we thank all of them for their tireless efforts and dedication. Sports fans and bettors from across the Capital Region and beyond will be thrilled with our new state-of-the-art Rivers Sportsbook lounge. We look forward to having them as guests at Rivers Casino & Resort and the City of Schenectady.”

Casino representatives, guests, and area dignitaries gathered at Rivers Casino today to cut the ribbon on the state’s first legal sports betting location. Opening Day of the sportsbook also included appearances by Super Bowl Champion and former New York Giants punter, Sean Landeta; Pro-Bowl safety and former New York Jet, Erik Coleman; and World Series MVP, New York Yankee great, Bucky Dent.

“We couldn’t be happier for our great community partner Rivers Casino & Resort,” said Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy. “It is indeed an historic day not just for the state of New York, but for the City of Schenectady. As Rivers Casino grows, so does its positive impact on our community. The opening of Rivers Sportsbook will surely attract even more guests to the property and to our great city. Looking ahead, we are also hopeful that our leaders in Albany will see how hard Rivers Casino is working to keep up with growing regional competition and recognize how important it is for them to address structural tax disadvantages in the market.”

The new Rivers Sportsbook, which was designed by DMAC Architecture of Chicago, is a luxury sports lounge and occupies just over 5,000 square feet.  Club chairs and table seating accommodate approximately 80 guests and include five private booths with TV monitors – each accommodating up to 6 people. The lounge also includes18 individual VIP seats and 32 tabletop seats.

Rivers Sportsbook has an impressive state-of-the-art 53′ x 9′ LED video wall that anchors the sportsbook viewing area, along with 22 additional TV monitors. The sportsbook also includes 14 betting kiosks and 6 staffed betting windows to accommodate guests. Rivers Sportsbook is located directly off the casino’s main gaming floor – adjacent to Van Slyck’slounge.

Rivers Sportsbook will offer betting on a wide array of sporting events including professional football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, college sports and more. Bets are expected to include, but not be limited to, straight bets, parlays, totals, and in-game betting. Wagers can be placed at the betting counter with a live sportsbook writer during Rivers Sportsbook hours of operation or at a sports betting kiosk 24 hours a day.

Rivers Casino’s sports wagering supplier is Rush Street Interactive LLC (RSI), an award-winning gaming company that develops and operates real-money in-casino and online sportsbooks. Rush Street Interactive will bring the same high quality in-casino sportsbook solution to Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady as players in the state of Pennsylvania have been enjoying since 2018. RSI provides its in-casino sportsbook service to the top two performing retail sportsbooks in the state of Pennsylvania; Rivers Casino Pittsburgh and SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia collectively account for over fifty-percent of all retail sportsbetting handle in the state since the market opened.

Recently recognized as the number one tourist destination in the Capital Region, the sportsbook lounge will complement the wonderful amenities already offered by Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady. Sports betters and fans alike will not only enjoy a world-class sports book, but they will also be able to experience top entertainment, premium dining, and  The Landing Hotel – Rivers’ luxurious riverfront hotel.

The Rivers Sportsbook hours of operation will be Monday – Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.; Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.; Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.; and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., but are subject to change to accommodate athletic seasons.

There is a $5 minimum wager amount and all bets are cash only. Betting sheets with odds will be printed and available at Rivers Sportsbook. Must be 21 years of age or older to access the gaming floor and wager at Rivers Sportsbook.

 

ABOUT RIVERS CASINO & RESORT SCHENECTADY:
Located at the picturesque Mohawk Harbor near the heart of downtown Schenectady, Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady features 1,150 slots, 67 live table games and a 16-table poker room and a live, in-casino luxury sportsbook lounge.

The casino offers five distinctive restaurants—among them are Dukes Chophouse, Flipt, Johnny’s To-Go and Mian. Rivers features a multipurpose Event Center space, a lively entertainment lounge—Van Slyck’s, live music performances, free parking and daily promotions and giveaways.

The Landing Hotel is a 165-room, six-story boutique hotel with riverfront views located adjacent to the Event Center. Rivers, which opened in 2017, employs approximately 1,200 team members and has been voted a great place to work in Schenectady.

Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady is owned and operated by Rush Street Gaming and its affiliates. For more information, visit riverscasinoandresort.com

ABOUT RUSH STREET INTERACTIVE:
Rush Street Interactive (RSI) was founded by pioneers in the internet gaming industry with decades of collective experience in developing, supplying and operating online gaming sites. The Chicago-based business launched its first casino site, PlaySugarHouse.com in NJ, in September 2016 and made history in August 2018 as the first online operator in the United States to offer an integrated online sportsbook and casino.  Rush Street Interactive is also the service provider of the sportsbooks at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh and SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia. RSI made history once again by next launching Pennsylvania’s first online sportsbook, PlaySugarHouse.com, and on its heels followed that with a second online sportsbook site, BetRivers.com.   

Additionally, RSI is the only U.S. gaming company to launch a regulated online sportsbook in Latin America. Rush Street Interactive is also the developer and operator of a leading social gaming platform that is currently deployed at Rush Street-affiliated casinos (Rivers Casino in PittsburghSugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia, Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Illinois and Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady, New York), as well as selected third party partners.

Rush Street Interactive was named “Mobile Operator of the Year” in North America at the EGR North America Awards 2019 and “American Operator of the Year” & “Casino Operator of the Year” by Gambling.com for their inaugural American Gambling Awards in 2019.

 

Source: Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady

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Gambling in the USA

John James the New CEO and President of Foxwoods Resort Casino

George Miller

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John James the New CEO and President of Foxwoods Resort Casino
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Resort Casino Veteran Brings Over 25 Years of Native American Gaming Leadership to Foxwoods

 

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council announces tribal gaming executive John J. James has been named the new President and CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino. James currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Morongo Casino Resort & Spa located in Cabazon, California and will be taking the helm at Foxwoods beginning August 12.

James succeeds Felix D. Rappaport, whose untimely death in June of 2018 led to Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler taking over as the resort’s interim CEO shortly thereafter. With over 25 years of highly successful Native American gaming resort operations experience, James is uniquely positioned to lead Foxwoods into its next evolution as the premier entertainment destination in the Northeast. His expertise and vision will help build on Foxwoods’ solid foundation and maximize the tremendous growth opportunities that lie ahead.

“Over the past decade, Foxwoods transformed the traditional gaming model through a relentless pursuit of guest-first experiences resulting in the only true all-encompassing resort destination,” said Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler. “With his proven track record for innovation, John is the right leader to continue that commitment to our guests, fulfill our vision and ignite our passion for delivering a resort that excites and surprises. John perfectly represents our team’s values and beliefs, and we are ready to drive the future of Foxwoods together.”

James’ deep expertise across key business units including finance, innovative marketing and award-winning design and development allows him to take a “whole-brained” approach to growth and profitability.

“Foxwoods is the premier destination in the Northeast and a pioneer in the tribal gaming community, and I’m thrilled to be joining their stellar team,” said James. “Over the past 27 years, Foxwoods and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation have built a world-class resort casino with an unparalleled array of offerings for guests, and I look forward to working with the entire team to continue fortifying Foxwoods’ position as one of North America’s premier resort destinations.”

Prior to joining Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, James was Chief Executive Officer for Gila River Gaming Enterprises, Inc. where he led the tribe’s three casinos in achieving the highest recorded earnings in the State of Arizona. He also held chief executive roles at Seminole Gaming, Inc. and Pechanga Resort and Casino. Additionally, James served as a Vice President and General Manager for various successful Station Casinos properties in Las Vegas.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, James attended the University of Nevada where he graduated from the accounting program. As he assumes his new role at Foxwoods, he and his wife Giselle will be relocating to Mystic, Connecticut.

 

About the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation:
The Mashantucket (Western) Pequot Tribal Nation is a federally recognized Indian tribe located at one of America’s oldest Indian reservations, Mashantucket, in Southeastern Connecticut.  As pioneers of the Indian Gaming casino industry, the history of the Mashantucket Pequots reveals one of America’s greatest come-back stories, featured at the Tribe’s world renowned Mashantucket Pequot Museum. Today, the Tribe owns and operates one of the largest Integrated Resort Casino destinations in North America, Foxwoods Resort Casino, along with a variety of complementary businesses including a world-class golf course, luxury spa, Pequot Pharmaceutical Network, and Pequot Plus Health Benefit Services.  As one of Connecticut’s highest revenue contributors and largest employers, the Mashantucket Pequots have provided the state more than $4 billion in slot revenue through a first-of-its-kind agreement, established in 1993.  Likewise, the Tribe has contributed hundreds of millions in donations and sponsorships for the benefit of communities and tribes in need, locally and throughout the U.S.

About Foxwoods Resort Casino:
As the largest resort casino in North America, Foxwoods Resort Casino offers guests a premier destination resort experience throughout its six world-class casinos; AAA Four-Diamond hotels featuring over 2,200 rooms; dining options for all tastes; luxurious spas; award-winning golf; state-of-the-art theaters; Tanger Outlet Mall; conference space for groups of all sizes; and free online casino games at FoxwoodsONLINE.com. There is always something new at Foxwoods, most recently the arrival of Foxwoods Extreme Adventures. Adventure knows no limit as guests can zipline, free fall, catapult or race around on a European-style indoor karting track. Foxwoods Resort Casino truly is The Wonder Of It All, providing a personalized and exciting escape for everyone. Foxwoods, opened in 1992, is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. For a detailed look at Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation visit Foxwoods.com.

 

Source: Foxwoods Resort Casino

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