MGM takes control of Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park

| By contenteditor
Casino operator MGM Resorts International has finalised its acquisition of the operating assets for Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park, rebranding the Ohio property as MGM Northfield Park.

MGM Resorts International has finalised its acquisition of the operating assets for Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park, rebranding the Ohio property as MGM Northfield Park.

Under the agreement, MGM Resorts will lease the property from MGM Growth Properties (MGP) at a cost of $275m (£208.8m/€244.7m). MGP acquired the casino from Milstein Entertainment for $1bn in July of last year.

The deal will grant MGM a major presence in the Ohio market, with Northfield Park operating as the largest casino in the state. MGM Northfield Park has over 2,300 video lottery terminals, as well as several retail, food and beverage outlets, entertainment venues and the Northfield Park horse racetrack.

MGM Resorts announced in September that it was to take over ownership of the facility.

“Over the years, we have strategically and thoughtfully expanded our presence in key US regions where we can leverage our expertise, maximise our cross-marketing efforts and drive companywide growth, and the announcement reinforces this strategy,” MGM Resorts’ chairman and CEO, Jim Murren, said.

“We remain excited for the future of MGM Northfield Park as it further cements itself as a market leader under the MGM brand and Chris Kelley's leadership.”

MGP CEO, James Stewart, added: “With the addition of the property to the master lease, MGP shareholders will further benefit from our market leading net rent coverage as well as our tenant's significant cash flows and strong credit profile.”

Meanwhile, MGM Resorts has appointed Atif Rafiq as president of commercial and growth.

Rafiq joins from Volvo Cars where he led various strategic initiatives related to digital subscriptions, developed direct-to-consumer relationships. Earlier in his career, Rafiq also had a spell as chief digital officer at McDonald’s Corporation.

Speaking about his new role, Rafiq, who will report directly to CEO Murren, said: “MGM Resorts sits at a unique intersection between hospitality and huge consumer appetite for experiences. More and more, consumers gravitate toward experiences that entertain, delight, sustain, build treasured memories and create lasting connections.

“MGM has the assets, scale advantage and strong brand to grow and deepen its customer relationships taking aim at such opportunities.”

The operator said the appointment forms part of its MGM 2020 transformation strategy, with Rafiq to set the digital strategy and drive change at the operator.

Murren added: “Our company continues to focus on hiring and developing leaders for the future. Atif joining the leadership team further deepens our bench of talent.”

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