Bally’s Corporation agrees lease-back sale of two Rhode Island casinos

American land-based casino operator Bally’s Corporation has announced the signing of a binding agreement that will see it offload its two properties in the eastern state of Rhode Island to Gaming and Leisure Properties Incorporated for $1 billion in cash.

The Providence-headquartered firm used an official Tuesday press release to assert that the arrangement involving its 83-room Bally’s Tiverton Casino and Hotel and even larger Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort venues remains ‘subject to customary regulatory approvals’ as well as lender consent on the latter enterprise. The company also disclosed that it subsequently intends to lease back the operation of the Rhode Island pair from Gaming and Leisure Properties Incorporated under a 15-year master lease arrangement featuring an incremental annual rent of $76.3 million.

Eminent enterprise:

Previously known as Twin River Worldwide Holdings Incorporated until undergoing a 2020 name-change, Bally’s Corporation is responsible for 14 casinos spread across the United States including the giant Bally’s Atlantic City and Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport properties. The operator has owned the 163-room Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort enterprise since 2005 while it spent some $22 million ten years later so as to purchase the Bally’s Tiverton Casino and Hotel venue.

Alluring alternative:

Should approvals for the Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort portion of the arrangement not be received in a timely manner and Bally’s Corporation disclosed that the new deal will allow Gaming and Leisure Properties Incorporated to instead acquire the real estate assets of its Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Biloxi property. The seller noted that this eventuality would knock the aggregated price for the revised two venues down to $635 million and oblige it to pay a combined annual rent on the Rhode Island and Mississippi enterprises of $48.5 million.

Subsequent sale:

In the event that this latter eventuality comes to pass and Bally’s Corporation declared that Gaming and Leisure Properties Incorporated, which is a real estate investment trust spun off from Penn National Gaming Incorporated some nine years ago, would still have the option of buying its Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort venue before the end of 2024 ‘subject to receipt of required consents’. The company divulged that the deal is to set the eventual purchase price for this one Rhode Island venue at $771 million and require it to pay an additional annual rent of $58.8 million.

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Loan largess:

Bobby Lavan (pictured) serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Bally’s Corporation and he used the press release to detail that the new arrangement is to furthermore see Gaming and Leisure Properties Incorporated hand over an initial $200 million deposit. The executive went on to declare that his firm has additionally committed to repaying this cash by the conclusion of 2023 alongside a closing ‘transaction fee’ of $9 million.

Read a statement from Lavan…

“Bally’s Corporation is excited to enter into this transaction with Gaming and Leisure Properties Incorporated to further strengthen our growing relationship. The transaction will provide us with significant long-term liquidity and ensure that we are best positioned to continue executing our capital and strategic plan and capitalize on future opportunities presented in the market.”

Busy business:

Bally’s Corporation was last month given the green light to bring a Las Vegas-style casino to downtown Chicago and has recently been on something of a buying spree courtesy of separate deals to acquire daily fantasy sports firm Monkey Knife Fight, online free-play games developer SportCaller, digital technology and services enterprise Bet.Works Corporation and British iGaming firm Gamesys Group. All of this prompted American hedge fund Standard General to lodge a $2.07 billion January takeover offer despite the target’s earlier failure to consummate its proposed $90 million bid for the World Poker Tour (WPT) poker lodi291 brand.