Caesars and VICI Sell Harrah’s Louisiana Downs for $22M

Caesars Entertainment and VICI Properties announced Thursday the sale of a casino property, as both companies entered into definitive agreements to sell Harrah’s Louisiana Downs in a $22 million deal to Rubico Acquisition Corp. The sale of the casino and racecourse resort in Bossier City, Louisiana, comes as a surprise on the back of the industry expectation that the mammoth casino operator would sell a Las Vegas Strip property.

No Further Details Disclosed

Both VICI and Caesars did not disclose further detail regarding the deal, besides the fact that the proceeds from the sale which is expected to close at the end of 2020 or during early 2021, would be split $16.5 million to $5.5 million for the casino operator and the real estate investment trust, respectively.

Caesars Entertainment and VICI Properties outlined the annual base rent payments under the Regional Master Lease between them will remain unchanged after the completion of the deal which is subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

The sale of Harrah’s Louisiana Downs comes as a surprise as there were no requirements for property divestments from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board which signaled a greenlight for the merger between Caesars and Eldorado in January. Nor was the casino and racetrack resort part of the gaming properties upon the sale of which the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued its conditional approval for the merger.

Las Vegas Strip Properties Were Ahead on the Sale List

Eldorado Casino Resort in Shreveport, Louisiana, which was one of the gaming properties the FTC required to be divested, was sold to Twin River Holdings in April, in a combined deal with MontBleu Resort Casino in Lake Tahoe, Nevada for $155 million, pending completion.

Besides, long before the $17.3 billion merger deal to complete July 20, there were industry speculations that the new entity was mulling selling one of its Las Vegas Strip properties, with the Colosseum at Caesars Palace and Caesars Forum being strong contenders. Instead, the first property sold by Caesars Entertainment, Inc. is the casino and racetrack in Bossier City, Louisiana.

The racetrack which was shut down during the quarter horse season due to the severe outbreak of the coronavirus, houses 12,000 square feet of casino gaming floor featuring 830 slot machines. Harrah’s Louisiana Downs resumed races in June with live thoroughbred.

Having divested the casino in Shreveport and now Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, the portfolio of Caesars’ casino properties in the state comes down to 4.

1 Comment

  • FRed
    October 11, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    Will the racetrack continue racing activities (live and simulcasting) under the ownership to Rubico LLC
    in 2021 or is it closing the facility?

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