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US – Bally’s Corporation completes acquisition of Tropicana Evansville Casino

By - 4 June 2021

Bally’s Corporation has completed its acquisition of the Tropicana Evansville casino operations from Caesars Entertainment. As part of the transaction, Bally’s also acquired the unencumbered rights to the Evansville operations’ sports betting and iGaming skins, which will provide the Company with greater access to the growing Indiana gaming market.

Tropicana Evansville was the first casino in Indiana to move from a riverboat vessel to a landside facility in 2017. The property, located on approximately 20 acres along the Ohio river in Vanderburgh County features 46,265 square feet of casino space, 1,145 gaming machines, 41 table games, 338 hotel rooms, and approximately 47,000 square feet of meeting space, and a sportsbook.

George Papanier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bally’s Corporation, said: “The Tropicana Evansville acquisition closing marks another major accomplishment in what has already been a truly remarkable year for Bally’s. As we continue to implement our growth and diversification strategy with precision, we are excited to welcome the Tropicana Evansville into the Bally’s family and look forward to the opportunity to provide our first-in-class land-based and interactive entertainment offerings to the Indiana gaming market.”

As previously announced, Bally’s acquired the Tropicana Evansville for $140m. As part of the transaction, an affiliate of Gaming & Leisure Properties, Inc. acquired the real estate associated with the Tropicana Evansville casino for $340m, which it is leasing to Bally’s for $28m per year, subject to escalation. GLPI also acquired the real estate associated with Bally’s Dover Downs casino for $144m, which it is leasing back to Bally’s for $12m per year, subject to escalation. Both leases are governed by a master lease agreement with GLPI, which has an initial term of 15 years and includes four, five-year options.

GLPI is also buying the land and real estate assets of The Dover Downs Hotel and Casino from Bally’s.

Peter Carlino, Chairman and CEO of GLPI, commented: “We are pleased to add these high-quality regional assets to our portfolio, expand our roster of operators, and gain geographic exposure to a new state. Bally’s is one of the nation’s most dynamic regional gaming operators and we look forward to further supporting the execution of their growth plans. In particular, we look forward to adding their Mardi Gras and Golden casinos in Blackhawk, Colorado and their Jumer’s Casino and Hotel in Rock Island, Illinois to our existing master lease as we further expand our partnership.

“Furthermore, as the owner of the nation’s largest regional gaming portfolio, we are extraordinarily encouraged by operating results at regional properties across our portfolio. After the underlying properties successfully re-opened from mandated COVID-19 closures, the $6.1m of additional annual cash rent generated by the May 1, 2021 achievement of rent escalators in each of our Pinnacle master lease operated by Penn National Gaming, our master lease with Boyd Gaming Corporation, and our Belterra Park lease with Boyd underscores this robust and recently accelerated operational strength.”

Dover Downs Casino and Hotel is situated on approximately 70 acres in Delaware’s capital city. It is accessible to the Northeast Corridor and proximate to beach communities on the Eastern Shore. The property features approximately 145,000 square feet of casino space, 2,188 video lottery terminals, 38 table games, 500 hotel rooms, a race book, and a sportsbook.

As a result of this structure, no cash outlay was required by Bally’s at closing. Bally’s expects this transaction to be immediately accretive to earnings.

Tropicana Evansville maintains 79,000 square feet of enclosed space, including 45,000 square feet of casino floor, four dining venues, a race and sportsbook, and back of house space. The complex also includes 11,000 square feet of convention space adjacent to the casino, and a Riverfront Event Center located across the street, which includes 10,000 square feet of convention space overlooking the Ohio River. Accommodations include a 243-room hotel tower and a 95-room boutique hotel.

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