The Nevada Gaming Commission has approved three casino-industry buyouts, including an acquisition of MGM Resorts International’s holdings in Reno. This $2.5-million deal gave Eldorado Resorts Inc. ownership of Circus Circus Reno and half of the Silver Legacy, both MGM properties. The other half of Silver Legacy is already owned by Eldorado.
In addition, Golden Gate majority owner Derek Stevens has acquired the remaining 35-percent of the of the casino from Mark Brandenburg, whose family founded the landmark. Golden Gate was opened over 100 years ago and has 122 rooms.
Regulators also approved a ten-percent acquisition of Golden Gate by Stockbridge Capital Partners (which owns SLS Las Vegas); Stockbridge’s stake in the property was previously owned by Sam Nazarian, through his company SBE Entertainment. As part of the deal, Stockbridge will pay the entertainment company for the naming rights to the property’s SBE-owned restaurant brands.
This year, Stockbridge has contributed over $59 million to the SLS’s operations.
The MGM deal was first announced in July, giving Eldorado ownership of three resorts in downtown Reno – the Eldorado, Silver Legacy, and Circus Circus Reno. The company now controls 32-percent of the hotel rooms in the market. The three properties, which are connected by covered walkways, will be operated as a single entity.
Between the three resorts, Eldorado will operate 4,100 hotel rooms and between 15 and 20 restaurants.
“Reno has been on fire from our standpoint,” Thomas Reed, president of Eldorado Resorts, told commissioners. “We’re very excited about the timing of when we combine these assets.”
Owning all three properties makes Eldorado the dominant casino company in Reno.
“This is a very good thing you’re doing in Reno,” Gaming Commission Chairman Tony Alamo Jr. said at the meeting in Las Vegas.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, gaming revenue in Reno is up 3.3-percent through September, which includes a 4.3-percent increase in slot machine revenue. Visits to Washoe County are also up 1.3-percent.
This sale is just the latest divestment by MGM in the state. Since 2005, the company has also sold the Railroad Pass in Henderson, NV, and the Gold Strike in Jean, NV.
(Photo credit: Jon Roig, Creative Commons.)
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