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Elgin’s Grand Victoria Casino is set to change hands later this year, and the prospective new owner is eyeing land near the casino for future development.
Reno, Nev.-based Eldorado Resorts said it entered into a definitive agreement to pay $327.5 million for the casino now owned by equal partners MGM Resorts International and RBG, a Pritzker family limited partnership.
Buying the Grand Victoria furthers Eldorado’s efforts to grow by acquisition and gain a foothold in the Chicago-area market. It also includes contiguous acreage that could be developed, the company said.
“Grand Victoria is one of the leading casinos in the Chicagoland market and is extremely well-maintained, which will allow us, upon closing, to focus on enhancing the guest experience and operating results without the need to undertake capital investments,” Gary Carano, chairman and chief executive office of Eldorado, said on a conference call Monday.
Eldorado also announced plans Monday to team up with Gaming and Leisure and acquire Tropicana Entertainment for $1.85 billion. Gaming and Leisure will pay roughly $1.21 billion and Eldorado will pay $64 million. Eldorado will manage the properties. Tropicana owns seven casinos in six states, including two in Nevada — the Tropicana Laughlin Hotel and Casino and the MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa in South Lake Tahoe — as well as properties in Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and New Jersey.
Eldorado currently owns several casino properties in states including Missouri, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada and Louisiana. “Following the completion of these transactions, Eldorado has grown from a company that just four years ago was comprised of two wholly owned properties and a 50 percent joint ownership interest … (in) a third property in just two states to a company now that owns 26 gaming properties in 13 states,” Carano said on the conference call.
The Grand Victoria, which received its license in 1994, had gross receipts of $168.7 million last year, up 3.4 percent from 2016, according to the Illinois Gaming Board. Tax revenue from the casino brought in $45 million to the state’s coffers, up 4.6 percent from 2016.
MGM said it acquired its 50 percent interest in the Grand Victoria in 2005, when it bought Mandalay Resort Group, formerly named Circus Circus Enterprises. Grand Victoria was originally a joint venture between Circus Circus Enterprises and Hyatt Gaming.