Century Casinos to buy Mountaineer after regulator's approval
Publicly-traded Century Casinos is about to be the new owner of the Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort in West Virginia. The Colorado-based casino operator had picked up the property when it purchased three venues from Eldorado Resorts this past summer, but still needed to receive the blessing from the state’s gambling regulator, the West Virginia Lottery. That blessing has now been given and Century is ready to make its entry into the Mountain State.
Century purchased the 70-year-old property, along with Isle Casino Cape Girardeau and Lady Luck Casino in Missouri, from Eldorado this past June in a deal reportedly worth around $385 million. The negotiations included the VICI Properties real estate trust, with Century spending $107 million for the property rights and VICI covering the rest as the owner of the land and real estate. In turn, Century will pay $25 million in annual rent to VICI.
In a press release about the approval of the transaction in West Virginia, Century co-CEOs Erwin Haitzmann and Peter Hoetzinger said, “We are very excited to be expanding into West Virginia. Mountaineer is a great addition to our portfolio and will be our third racetrack and casino property. We look forward to working with the staff and community to continue the current success at Mountaineer into the future.”
The Mountaineer first opened its doors in 1951, but the casino wasn’t added until 1994. It is located in New Cumberland, West Virginia, about an hour from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and offers 36 table games, a poker room, 1,486 slot machines, a racetrack and five eateries.
If everything goes according to plan, Century will be able to consummate the acquisition of all three properties sometime early next year. When that happens, they will become part of a portfolio that contains two venues in Colorado, a handful in Canada and one in England.
The approval hasn’t done much to boost Century on the market. Trading under the ticker symbol CNTY on NASDAQ, the company has seen its price fall over the past five days, with only a few spurts of positive growth. This past Monday, it was trading at $8.24 before beginning a decent that carried all the way through yesterday afternoon when it reached a low of around $7.68. It bounced back up to $7.89 just a couple of hours later, finally closing the day at $7.85.