MGM Resorts Finalizes Sale of Gold Strike Tunica; Churchill Downs Incorporated Sells Arlington Heights Property To Chicago Bears

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On February 15, MGM Resorts International, a leading internationally recognized hospitality and entertainment company based in Las Vegas, Nevada, reported that it has completed the sale of its subsidiary Gold Strike casino based in Tunica, Mississippi, to CNE Gaming Holdings LLC, a popular subsidiary of Cherokee Nation Businesses, for $450 million in cash.

But that’s not all; because Churchill Downs Incorporated, a leading Kentucky-based public company that owns multiple racetracks and casinos, also reported that it has finalized an agreement to sell the 326-acres property called Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights, Illinois, to the Chicago Bears for $197.2 million.

However, this sum is according to the contract published in September 2021.

Gold Strike Casino sale:

For the year ended December 31, 2022, Gold Strike publicly announced net income of $47 million and EBITDAR of $98 million.

Upon signing the sale agreement, MGM Resorts’ master lease with VICI Properties, which currently involves the Gold Strike Casino, will be modified to reduce the annual rent by $40 million to account for the sale of the Gold Strike business.

The company predicts net cash income after taxes and estimated fees to be approximately $350 million.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP acted as legal counsel to MGM Resorts.

Commenting on the sale of the casino, Jonathan Halkyard, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer at MGM Resorts International, said: “Gold Strike is an iconic property in Mississippi, and the employees there represent southern hospitality at its finest. 

“”I wish Gold Strike well, and firmly believe a bright future is ahead for this property.”

Arlington International Racecourse sale:

Pursuant to an Internal Revenue Code transaction, Churchill Downs Incorporated will use the income from the sale to buy and upgrade properties previously purchased in connection with the acquisition of Peninsula Pacific Gaming that was completed in 2022.

There is speculation that the Bears could use the racetrack to begin construction of a new stadium or negotiate a better deal at their current home stadium, Soldier Field, in Chicago, Illinois.

Commenting on the sale, Ted Phillips, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Bears, said: “Our goal is to chart a path forward that allows our team to thrive on the field, Chicagoland to prosper from this endeavor, and the Bears organization to be ensured a strong future.

“We will never stop working toward delivering Bears fans the very best experience. We will continue to provide updates on our progress at the appropriate time.”

About:

Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, MGM Resorts International is one of the leading developers, builders and operators of luxury hotels and casinos.

It was founded and officially launched in 1986.

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Churchill Downs Incorporated has been involved in racing since 1875, beginning with two races called the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks. The company is over a century old and still doing well in a market that includes casinos, racetracks, online wagering business such as tvinspires.com, a video poker business and a poker media and brand company, among others.

It was founded and officially launched in 1875.

MGM Resorts Finalizes Sale of Gold Strike Tunica; Churchill Downs Incorporated Sells Arlington Heights Property To Chicago Bears

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