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MGM Resorts International Finalizes Plans to Sell Mississippi Casino




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As one of the biggest casino gaming and entertainment companies in the world, MGM Resorts remains active in the industry. This includes the buying and selling of assets as they relate to the company’s overall plans.

MGM’s latest move involves the sale of Gold Strike Tunica as one of two casino properties in Mississippi. However, the sale of the property is not as significant as is the buyer.

MGM Sells Casino to Cherokee National Entertainment

MGM Resorts International will sell Gold Strike Tunica for a reported $450 million in an all cash deal. If everything goes according to plan with state regulators, the deal should close by the first quarter of 2023.

The actual sale is to Cherokee Nation Entertainment Gaming Holdings as a subsidiary of Cherokee Nation Businesses. VICI Properties is the real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns the Gold Strike Tunica property.

The annual rent paid on that property that MGM currently pays to VICI will decrease by $40 million when the deal formally closes.

Industry analysts view this as a win/win for all parties involved. MGM is looking to build capital for other company endeavors. The Cherokee Nation is looking to build its presence in the commercial casino gaming industry.

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MGM Resorts Future Plans in Mississippi

The sale of Gold Strike Tunica remains consistent with MGM Resorts International’s current growth strategy. The Las Vegas-based company recently announced the sale of the Mirage for $1.07 billion. This deal also involves Aria and Vdara resorts as other Las Vegas properties.

MGM’s other casino in Mississippi is Beau Rivage. In a recent press release, company CEO Bill Hornbuckle had nothing but high praise for Gold Strike Tunica as an outstanding property. However, he also stated “We decided to narrow our focus in Mississippi to a single resort, Beau Rivage.”

Cherokee Nation Expands Its Gaming Sphere

Cherokee Nation currently owns and operates 10 land-based casinos in the US. The recent strategy is to reach beyond its gaming venues tied to tribal lands. The focus has shifted to commercial casino properties.

Cherokee Nation Businesses chief executive officer is Chuck Garrett. In a recent statement, he added the following comments:

“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.”

He also detailed how Gold Strike Tunica fit into those plans. The casino floor offers 50,000 square feet of gaming space. The hotel at the resort has more than 1,100 suites and rooms. The property sits in an ideal location, just 20 miles from the city of Memphis.

Cherokee Nation started this process by buying the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. Overall business interests include resort hotels, a horse racing track, golf courses and other retail operations. The company’s total employment combined adds up to more than 11,000 people.

Other Tribal Gaming Expansion

Cherokee Nation is not the only gaming tribe with expansion plans in the commercial sector. The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians recently acquired the Palms Casino Resort on the Las Vegas Strip for $650 million.