LAS VEGAS, June 10, 2022 — MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) (“MGM Resorts” or the “Company”) today announced that it has reached an agreement to sell the operations of Gold Strike Tunica (“Gold Strike”) to Cherokee Nation Entertainment Gaming Holdings, LLC (“CNE”), a subsidiary of Cherokee Nation Businesses, for $450 million in cash, subject to customary adjustments.
“I want to thank all of our Gold Strike employees who have consistently delivered world-class gaming and entertainment experiences to our guests,” said Bill Hornbuckle, CEO & President, MGM Resorts International. “Gold Strike is a wonderful property with a bright future ahead. Strategically, though, we decided to narrow our focus in Mississippi to a single resort – Beau Rivage – and dedicate more of our time and resources towards continuing to drive success at that leading, world-class resort and casino.”
For the twelve months ended December 31, 2021, Gold Strike reported net income of $81.1 million and Adjusted Property EBITDAR of $115 million1, reflecting benefits from certain market specific factors in the last year. Pre-pandemic, Gold Strike reported Adjusted Property EBITDAR of $67 million in 2019. At the closing of the transaction, MGM Resorts’ master lease agreement with VICI Properties Inc. (NYSE: VICI), which currently includes Gold Strike, will be amended to reduce annual rent by $40 million. The Company expects net cash proceeds after taxes and estimated fees to be approximately $350 million.
“This is a great outcome for the Company as we are able to reprioritize future capital expenditures toward opportunities that will enhance the customer experience at our other locations,” said Jonathan Halkyard, CFO & Treasurer, MGM Resorts International. “We appreciate VICI, as the real estate owner of Gold Strike, working constructively with CNE to facilitate a new lease agreement.”
Gold Strike opened in 1994 and was acquired by MGM Resorts in 2005. At 32 stories tall, the iconic property is one of the most recognizable buildings in Tunica and towers above all other structures. When it was built the gold tower was reported to be the tallest building in Mississippi.
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2023, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP served as legal counsel to MGM Resorts.