- Bally’s Corporation has announced the completion of their purchase of the MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa from Caesars Entertainment.
- Caesars had originally planned to sell the property to Maverick Gaming but that deal fell apart in April 2020.
- Bally’s also acquired the Eldorado Shreveport Resort & Casino in Louisiana in the deal.
Bally’s Corporation (NYSE: BALY) has announced the completion of the previously announced acquisition of the MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa in Stateline, Nevada on the South shore of Lake Tahoe. The property was purchased from Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR) in a deal announced in April 2020.
The transaction was made as Caesars Entertainment was working to complete their merger with Eldorado Resorts, a massive $18 billion USD deal that closed in July 2020. The initial plan was to sell the MontBleu property–along with the Eldorado Shreveport–to Maverick Gaming, a company best known for running slot routes in Nevada and owning card rooms in Washington. Maverick also owns several properties in smaller Northern Nevada markets–the Wendover Nugget Hotel & Casino and Red Garter Hotel & Casino in Wendover, and in Elko the Red Lion Hotel & Casino, Gold Country Casino, High Desert Inn. The financial terms of the proposed deal were not announced. At the time, Tom Reeg who was at the time CEO of Eldorado Resorts (and now serves in the same role for Caesars Entertainment) said it was part of the process of closing the merger:
“The agreement to divest Montbleu is consistent with our continued focus on the expected closing for the Caesars transaction in the first half of 2020.”
Eric Persson, majority owner of Maverick Gaming, at the time indicated that his company wanted to boost their presence in Northern Nevada:
“With this acquisition, we will increase our position in Northern Nevada to five casinos with inventory nearing 1600 hotel rooms, and over 2100 slot machines. We see great opportunity in Northern Nevada and the Reno Tahoe market, and are actively seeking more distribution there.”
On April 24, Maverick backed out of the deal citing the need to ‘nurture and protect existing assets’ due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That provided an opening for Bally’s to get into the picture. A deal for the MontBleu and Eldorado Shreveport was announced later in April.
BALLY’S SCALING UP THEIR PRESENCE IN THE US GAMING INDUSTRY
At the time of the deal Bally’s (known then as Twin River Worldwide Holdings) was clearly looking to scale up the size and scope of their company. In addition to the purchase of the MontBleu and Eldorado Shreveport they would announce about this time that they had agreed to acquire Bally’s Atlantic City from Caesars Entertainment in a separate deal. The purchase of the Eldorado Shreveport closed in December 2020. The property’s name will transition to Bally’s Shreveport at some point in the future.
Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, sent his well wishes to the MontBleu staff:
“I want to thank the Team Members of MontBleu for all of their hard work and dedication throughout the years with the Caesars organization, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. We wish all of them continued success under Bally’s ownership.”
George Papanier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bally’s Corporation, welcomed the MontBleu into his company’s portfolio of properties:
“MontBleu is a premier entertainment asset that is commensurate with the iconic Bally’s brand, and advances our ongoing portfolio diversification strategy. With the close of this transaction, we look forward to integrating the property into the Bally’s family, and utilizing it as an attractive destination for our loyal Bally’s customers to drive visitation to Lake Tahoe.”
What isn’t clear from that quote is the future of the MontBleu name. Bally’s could choose to rebrand the property to something like ‘Bally’s Tahoe’ or maintain the existing name. They’ve got several other pending acquisitions left to finalize including the Tropicana Evansville in Indiana and Jumer’s Casino & Hotel in Illinois. They might be planning to rebrand all of the acquisitions simultaneously or maybe they haven’t decided what to do yet.
At the time of publication, James Murphy has a long position in BALY and CZR.