Bally’s Three Black Hawk Casinos Part Of $308M Tropicana Transaction


Bally’s three casinos in Black Hawk — Golden Gates, Golden Gulch, and Mardi Gras — were part of a $308 million transaction Tuesday in which Bally’s purchased the Tropicana Casino on the Las Vegas strip.

The three Colorado-based casinos were originally acquired by Twin Rivers in January 2020 prior to its rebranding to Bally’s in November. As part of the Tropicana purchase, Bally’s Corp. and Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. (GLPI) will enter a sale-and-leaseback transaction involving the Black Hawk casinos and Jumer’s Casino in Rock Island, Ill.

GLPI will purchase those four properties for $150 million and have an annual fixed rent of $12 million, though that rate could increase over time. The transaction is expected to be completed by early 2022 pending regulatory requirements and closing conditions, with the hope that the Tropicana can expand Bally’s player database and then leverage that growth throughout its properties.

Spot on Vegas Strip a ‘key step’

“Landing a preeminent spot on the Las Vegas Strip is a key step for us … [and will]unlock marketing opportunities to leverage the iconic Bally’s brand,” Bally’s President and CEO George Papanier said in a statement. “This expansion will also support the growth and development of our online and interactive business.”

FanDuel and DraftKings are tethered to the three Black Hawk casinos for online sports wagering, with FanDuel connected to Golden Gates and DraftKings to Golden Gulch. Both sportsbooks are affiliated with Mardi Gras.

The Tropicana purchase continues an aggressive series of acquisitions by Bally’s, which expects to eventually have 15 casinos spanning 11 states once deals to acquire Jumer’s and Tropicana-Evansville in Indiana are completed and construction is finished on a casino planned in Pennsylvania.

Bally’s also made a presentation to build a $650 million casino in Virginia earlier this month.

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Chris Altruda has been a sportswriter with ESPN, The Associated Press, and STATS over more than two decades. He recently expanded into covering sports betting and gambling around the Midwest.

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