A Bigger Bang

A Bigger Bang

The other REITs have been busy as well, shelling out big money for their piece of the action.

MGM Growth Properties (NYSE: MGP), formed in 2016 with the transfer of six MGM resorts on the Las Vegas Strip,

MGM Grand Detroit and MGM’s Beau Rivage and Gold Strike casino hotels in Mississippi, has grown its asset base to $12 billion and its 2017 rental income to $756 million with the acquisitions of Atlantic

City’s Borgata Hotel Casino and Maryland’s market-leading MGM National Harbor.

MGP paid for the deals with a mix of limited partnership interests and the assumption of $970 million of debt and $462.5 million in cash.

This spring, MGP announcing it was paying a cool $1 billion to acquire a racino near Cleveland, the Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield Park,

Ohio, with 2,300 VLTs, a 1,900-seat concert venue and gaming revenue last year of $232.5 million. The plan is to spin off the operation by leasing it to an outside company.

It also has an option on the $950 million MGM Springfield, a categorykiller scheduled to open in Massachusetts this summer.

Earlier this year, according to press reports, MGP even tried to buy VICI, the Caesars REIT, then all of about three months old.

The $5.85 billion bid, representing a per-share offer of $19.50 (VICI was trading at $20 and change at the time) was rejected.

VICI (NYSE: VICI) has mapped a growth trajectory of its own.

Launched last fall, VICI was one of the keys to getting creditors to buy in to a court-supervised restructuring of the largest and most heavily indebted company in the Caesars stable,

Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., which had been in Chapter 11 protection since early 2015.

Originally a portfolio of 19 CEOC casinos (and four golf courses), VICI acquired Harrah’s Las Vegas in December for $1.14 billion and now owns a $10.5 billion,

Nine-state portfolio that includes the iconic Caesars Palace, 10 Harrah’s casinos and the Bally’s, Horseshoe and Harvey’s brands.

The company also has options on Harrah’s Atlantic City, Harrah’s New Orleans and Harrah’s.

Laughlin and a right of first refusal on the Indianapolis-area racetracks casinos—Hoosier Park and Indiana.

Grand—Caesars purchased in November from Centaur Gaming for $1.7 billion.

VICI also is in line to own a 300,000-square-foot convention center Caesars is developing on the Las Vegas Strip.

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