Eldorado Resorts to Add Chicagoland Casino to Growing Portfolio

The company plans to buy the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Ill., a gambling venue with more than 1,000 slot machines, 30 table games and a poker room.
Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Ill.
Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Ill.

Eldorado Resorts has agreed to acquire the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Ill., from an MGM Resorts International joint venture. The Chicagoland riverfront casino property changed hands for $327.5 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close within 12 months and MGM Resorts said it expects to receive its 50 percent share of the net proceeds after transaction costs, or about $162 million.

It is the Reno, Nev.-based Eldorado’s second big acquisition announced this week and is part of the casino entertainment company’s continuing expansion plan. Also on Monday, Eldorado and Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. said they were teaming up to buy Tropicana Entertainment’s real estate portfolio for roughly $1.9 billion in cash with Gaming and Leisure paying about $1.2 billion for most of the casinos and leasing them to Eldorado. Eldorado, which will add seven casinos in six states to its growing portfolio, will pay the remaining $640 million. In May, Eldorado bought Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. for $1.1 billion. Upon completion of all pending transactions, Eldorado said its expanded property portfolio will feature approximately 26,800 slot machines and VLTs, more than 800 table games and over 12,500 hotel rooms.

Located about 40 miles west of downtown Chicago along the Fox River, the Grand Victoria Casino has 1,088 slot machines, 30 table games, a 12-table poker room and four dining options, including a deli, buffet and steakhouse. It has nearly 7,500 square feet of meeting and banquet space, event and concert facilities, a 1,450-space parking garage and additional parking for 600 vehicles.

“Grand Victoria is one of the leading casinos in the Chicagoland market and is extremely well maintained, which will allow us, upon closing, to focus on enhancing the guest experience and operating results without the need to undertake capital investments,” Guy Carano, Eldorado chairman & CEO, said in a prepared statement.

MGM Resorts, which earned last year Four Green Globes certifications for a portfolio of 26 retrofit building projects, acquired its 50 percent interest in Grand Victoria Casino in 2015, when it purchased the Mandalay Resort Group.

Growth opportunities

“This transaction represents yet another step in our ongoing efforts to bring additional scale to our portfolio base while creating new opportunities for growth and value for our shareholders,” Tom Reeg, president & CFO, said in prepared remarks. “Over the last several years through our efforts with the MTR assets, the Silver Legacy and Circus Circus in Reno, and most recently the large Isle of Capri portfolio, we have clearly demonstrated an ability to integrate and operate acquired casino operations.”

Eldorado owns and operates 20 properties in 10 states, including Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana and Mississippi. Carano said the Grand Victoria acquisition “will further diversify the geographic reach of our operations and includes excessive contiguous acreage for potential future development.”

BofA Merrill Lynch is acting as the exclusive financial advisor and Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy is the legal counsel for the proposed transaction.

Image courtesy of Eldorado Resorts