MGM Resorts International has announced that it is selling the operating rights to Gold Strike Hotel & Casino in Tunica, Mississippi to Cherokee Nation Entertainment Gaming Holdings in a deal that is worth $450 million (€424.7 million).
The deal is set to be finalized in the first half of 2023 subject to the required regulatory approvals and closing conditions.
Following the deal, the Cherokee Nation will own or operate 11 casinos including the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa along with a horse-racing track, three resort-hotels, three golf courses, and other retail operations.
Speaking of the deal, MGM Resorts International CEO and president Bill Hornbuckle said:
“I want to thank all of our Gold Strike employees who have consistently delivered world-class gaming and entertainment experiences to our guests.
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.”
Jonathan Halkyard, CFO and treasurer, MGM Resorts International added:
“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. We appreciate VICI, as the real estate owner of Gold Strike, working constructively with CNE to facilitate a new lease agreement.”
Chuck Garrett, chief executive officer of Cherokee Nation Businesses, said in a statement:
“We look forward to expanding our gaming and hospitality businesses as we execute on our strategic plan to grow our footprint outside of the Cherokee Nation Reservation. This acquisition will enable us to better serve our mission of growing the Cherokee Nation’s economy, while also having a significant positive impact on the local economies we serve.”
The Gold Strike opened in 1994 and is located 20 miles south of Memphis. It was acquired by MGM Resorts in 2005 and currently has a 50,000-square-foot casino and more than 1,100 hotel rooms.