GLPI Interested in Acquiring a Las Vegas Strip Property

  • The Las Vegas Strip’s recovery was faster than GLPI CEO Peter Carlino predicted
  • GLPI owns the land underneath the Tropicana and leases it to Bally’s
  • Carlino said any decision will be purely be a financial one, regardless of location
  • The MLB’s Oakland A’s are looking at the Trop as a location for a new stadium
Aerial view of Mandalay Bay, Excalibur, and Luxor on the Las Vegas Strip
Traditionally focused on regional casinos, GLPI is interested in acquiring a property on the Las Vegas Strip. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

GLPI owns the Tropicana’s land

The CEO of Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. (GLPI) said that, contrary to popular belief, he is interested in acquiring additional property on the Las Vegas Strip, if the right opportunity presents itself. In an earnings call on Friday, Peter Carlino admitted, in a bit of a surprising mea culpa for someone in his position, that his predictions for the Strip’s emergence from the worst of the pandemic were wrong.

I was wrong, frankly”

“I’ve been chastened a little bit following this latest downturn and recognizing after COVID that the Strip proved to be a lot more resilient than I would have ever have guessed,” Carlino said. “We knew what would happen in the regional markets with people the first minute they could go out of their door would head over to our properties and did so with great enthusiasm. But Vegas, I was a little bit more cautious about it and I was wrong, frankly.”

GLPI owns the land on which the Tropicana Hotel and Casino sits, as well as 57 gaming properties across 17 states. It sold the Trop to Bally’s Corporation in April 2021 for $150m and then agreed to lease the land to Bally’s for $10.5m per year for 50 years. Penn National was the Tropicana’s operator; it sold its remaining interest in the property to GLPI as part of the deal.

It’s just business

In the earnings call, Carlino said that his company was never against expanding on the Las Vegas Strip, it simply preferred “regional” casinos from a value standpoint.

“It’s only about money,” Carlino explained. “There’s nothing that we won’t own, I go both directions. We’d love to have Strip properties. I’ve often said to many of you that I’d own a shack on the beach with no windows and doors if the cash flow was rock solid.”

Bally’s Corporation will likely rebrand the Tropicana as a Bally’s. The current Bally’s Las Vegas will change its name to Horeseshoe Las Vegas in December. Bally’s Corp. chairman Soohyung Kim said in January that it is possible that his company could decide to raze the Trop and start from scratch if it makes the most financial sense.

Caesars is looking to shed a Strip property. One that has specifically come up is the Flamingo, which the company reportedly wants to sell for at least $1bn. It is unknown if GLPI has any interest.

Las Vegas A’s?

The Tropicana has also been at the center of negotiations for a possible move by MLB’s Oakland A’s to Las Vegas. Late last year, CNBC reported that the team has targeted the site of the Tropicana for its new stadium, should it move.

In the earnings call, Carlino did not provide any new information on possible negotiations. While it is not a guarantee that the A’s will move, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said on Sunday that it is probably going to happen. The team’s stadium is arguably the worst in the league, its lease runs out after the 2024 season, and it has not been able to secure a deal with the city to build a new one.

the mayor in Oakland has made a huge effort to try to get it done in Oakland”

Speaking with Chris Russo on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM Saturday, Manfred said: “I think the mayor in Oakland has made a huge effort to try to get it done in Oakland. It just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.”

“Given the lack of pace in Oakland, I think [the A’s] have to look for an alternative,” Manfred added, acknowledging that the alternative is likely Las Vegas.