Nevada Gaming Regulator Gives Green Light to Bally’s $308m Takeover of Tropicana

  • Bally’s is planning to take over the operations of the Tropicana in a deal totaling $308m
  • The Nevada Gaming Commission needs to also give its blessing to the acquisition
  • Bally’s will evaluate the property’s operations before considering any redevelopment work
  • The casino company has been busy expanding its gaming portfolio across North America
Tropicana
Bally’s has received approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board for its takeover of the Tropicana Las Vegas (pictured). [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Nearly over the finish line

The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has given its approval for Bally’s Corporation to operate the Tropicana Las Vegas casino resort and potentially redevelop the property. The state gaming regulator announced its decision on Wednesday, with the Las Vegas Strip property set to become the western flagship facility for Bally’s.

non-real estate assets cost $150m

Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc (GLPI) is selling the property to Bally’s in a deal worth $308m. The non-real estate assets cost $150m, while Bally’s is leasing the land from the real estate investment trust for a yearly rent of $10.5m, with the initial lease term standing at 30 years.

In the final regulatory step needed to complete the acquisition, the Nevada Gaming Commission must approve the control board’s recommendation during its next meeting on September 22.

Change on the horizon

As reported by the Nevada Independent, Bally’s Corp plans to evaluate the existing Tropicana operations and consider ways to improve performance. It will then assess the potential for significant redevelopment work. The property will initially keep the Tropicana name but will adopt the Bally’s brand if redevelopment goes ahead. There are no plans to redevelop the property in the first one or two years of taking over operations.

we think we should also evaluate the potential for a complete redevelopment.”

Speaking to the NGCB on Wednesday this week, Bally’s Corporation president George Papanier said: “We typically spend 90 to 180 days developing marketing strategies upon the acquisition of the property. In this case, we think we should also evaluate the potential for a complete redevelopment.”

The only issue that the NGCB raised during its meeting was the fact that Bally’s currently operates in online gray markets across the globe. These are jurisdictions in which gambling is neither legal nor illegal. In response, Bally’s asserted that it is comfortable operating in these regions but its compliance committee constantly evaluates them in case any issues arise.

Expanding its presence

Bally’s initially announced its plans to take over the Penn Entertainment-operated Tropicana in April 2021. The property covers 35 acres and currently has almost 1,500 hotel rooms, a 50,000-square-foot casino floor, as well as significant convention and meeting space.

Rumors have arisen in the media that the Tropicana could serve as a possible location for the MLB’s Oakland A’s new stadium, with the team hoping to move to Las Vegas. However, there was no mention of this during the NGCB meeting.

Bally’s has expanded its presence across North America by acquiring numerous gaming properties and rebranding them. It is also developing new projects, including Chicago’s first-ever casino. Bally’s was given the green light in May to begin construction on a $1.7bn casino in the Illinois city.

According to its president, Bally’s is now the third biggest US casino operator, boasting 17 properties across 11 states. It has also launched sportsbooks in numerous states, in addition to an online casino in New Jersey.