Vici and Century strike deal to acquire Maryland’s Rocky Gap Casino

| By Robert Fletcher
Casino real estate investment trust Vici Properties has agreed a deal to acquire Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Maryland from Golden Entertainment, while Century Casinos will purchase the venue’s operations.

The aggregate price of the agreement is $260.0m (£219.9m/€260.1m), with Vici to pay $203.9m to acquire an interest in the land and buildings associated with Rocky Gap, and Century the operating assets of the property for approximately $56.1m.

Upon closing of the deal, Rocky Gap will be added to the existing triple-net master lease agreement between Vici and Century, while annual rent will increase by $15.5m.

In addition, the term of the Century master lease will be extended so that upon closing of the transaction, the lease will have a full 15-year initial base term, with four five-year renewal options.

Located in Flintstone, Maryland, Rocky Gap is a full-service resort with over 25,000sq ft of gaming floor, 630 slot machines, 16 table games, 198 hotel rooms and five food and beverage venues, as well as an 18-hole golf course, a 5,000sq ft events centre, meeting spaces and a spa.

The property has recently invested $10m in improvements to its hotel, slot machines, restaurants and sports lounge, with potential to expand the casino and hotel.

Subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close in mid-2023.

“We are very excited to expand our existing partnership with Century, given their strong track record of integrating and operating similar high-quality regional resort assets, while also working with Blake Sartini, Charles Protell and the team at Golden Entertainment to help them achieve their strategic objectives,” Vici president and chief operating officer John Payne said.

“This transaction allows each of our companies to efficiently create value for our respective shareholders.”

Upon closing of the acquisition and the pending purchase of Nugget Sparks, which operates the Nugget Casino Resort in Nevada, Century’s North American portfolio will increase to 11 casinos.

“The addition of Rocky Gap is another important milestone in our pursuit to acquire prime US assets,” Century’s co-chief executives Erwin Haitzmann and Peter Hoetzinger said. “With this acquisition and our pending acquisition of the Nugget Casino Resort in Nevada, we will oversee a US portfolio that reaches from east to west.

“We are looking forward to working with the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency to obtain gaming approvals and with the casino leadership and team members to effect a smooth transition and great future for Rocky Gap.”

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