|KANSAS CITY, Mo., June 30, 1998 - Boyd Gaming Corporation
(NYSE: BYD) today announced plans to close its Sam's Town Kansas City casino
complex. Boyd Gaming also today announced that it has agreed to sell to
Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:
HET) various Sam's Town Kansas City assets for $12.5 million.
Plans call for the Sam's Town Kansas City casino to close within the next 60 days, at which time the asset purchase by Harrah's will be completed. Sam's Town Casino Kansas City, a 28,000 square foot casino riverboat and 80,000 square foot land based support facility located on the Missouri River, opened in September 1995. The purchase by Harrah's includes physical and certain other assets of the project, including the Sam's Town boat, shoreside facilities, parking garage, certain land, all gaming equipment, and computerized data bases.
Harrah's will also have the opportunity to hire Sam's Town employees. Harrah's is not purchasing any rights to the Sam's Town name or business. Harrah's does not plan to operate a casino at the Sam's Town location as a result of this purchase. Long range plans for the boat, land and shoreside facilities have not been finalized. Although no longer operating in the market, Boyd Gaming will honor its various financial commitments to the City of Kansas City, Port Authority of Kansas City, Clay County and the Kansas City based National Center for Responsible Gaming.
William S. Boyd, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming, commented on the transaction, "As a diversified gaming company operating twelve casino entertainment properties in eight distinct markets, we regularly review our competitive position and the contribution from each facility to ensure that we are maximizing the return from our asset base. With successful properties in many other emerging gaming market jurisdictions, we have concluded that Missouri presents unusual challenges which have negatively impacted our overall operating results since 1996. Having reviewed the competitive and ongoing restrictive regulatory and legislative environment in this particular region, we have determined that it is in the best long-term interest of our shareholders to focus our resources on other markets and properties."
"This purchase represents an excellent opportunity for Harrah's in several areas that we expect will benefit our market-leading casino in North Kansas City," stated Anthony Sanfilippo, division president of Harrah's responsible for Missouri operations. "With an unemployment rate just below 3 percent, high quality employees are hard to find in the Kansas City metro area. We know Sam's Town has excellent employees, and we hope to employ many of them at our North Kansas City property."
Sam's Town's 646 employees have been given the required 60-day legal notice by Boyd Gaming, and eligible employees will be paid for the entire period regardless of the actual closing date of the casino. Information on the displaced Sam's Town employees will also be available to other Boyd Gaming and Harrah's properties, and Boyd will help identify other opportunities for these employees in the Kansas City market.
"We feel access to Sam's Town's data on several thousand players can be very valuable to Harrah's. We know we can give these gaming customers a high quality experience at Harrah's in North Kansas City and at the same time introduce them to the benefits of loyal play at our other Harrah's properties across the United States," Sanfilippo added. "Finally, Harrah's North Kansas City runs at capacity several days of the week, and this purchase will give us access to gaming machines at an attractive price that we can move to our facility. We expect to move 100 machines as soon as the purchase and necessary regulatory approvals are completed."
Boyd Gaming Corporation is a large, diversified owner and operator of casino entertainment properties with operations in Nevada, Mississippi, Illinois, Louisiana and Missouri. The Company has headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada. Boyd Gaming press releases are available through Company News On-Call by fax (800) 758-5804, extension 104550, or at http://www.prnewswire.com.
Harrah's Entertainment is the most recognized and respected brand name
in the casino entertainment industry. Founded more than 60 years ago, Harrah's
is focused on building loyalty and brand value with its targeted customers
through a unique combination of excellent products and services, unsurpassed
distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. News and
information on Harrah's can be found at http://www.harrahs.com.