Caesars Sells Operations at Belle of Baton Rouge in Louisiana

Casino giant Caesars Entertainment announced today it entered into a definitive agreement to sell Belle of Baton Rouge riverboat casino and hotel in Louisiana to CQ Holding Company.

GLPI Retains Ownership

The riverboat property is owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLPI) and Caesars is operating it under a master lease agreement with the real estate investment trust (REIT). Pursuant to the amendments of the lease agreement, Belle of Baton Rouge casino and hotel will be removed from the Master Lease, while GLPI will retain its ownership of the real estate and rent payments to GLPI will remain unchanged.

“I want to thank all of our Baton Rouge Team Members for their hard work and dedication, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. We wish them the best under Casino Queen’s ownership.”

Tom Reeg, CEO, Caesars Entertainment

The transaction with CQ Holding Company which is the parent of Illinois-headquartered Casino Queen is expected to close in mid-2021 subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions, and Caesars Entertainment will be represented by Macquarie Capital and Milbank LLP.      

By the time the Louisiana Gaming Control Board approved the $17.3 billion pending merger between Reno-based Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment in January, there were no divestment requirements for gaming properties in the state.

Previous Divestments

In September, Caesars and its REIT partner VICI Properties announced both companies entered into definitive agreements to sell Harrah’s Louisiana Downs in a $22 million deal to Rubico Acquisition Corp. The divestment of the race track property was expected to close by the end of 2020 and in early 2021, and the proceeds of the transaction will be split $16.5 million to $5.5 million for Caesars and VICI, respectively.

Earlier, Eldorado Resorts offloaded another gaming property in Louisiana, the Eldorado Shreveport Resort and Casino in Shreveport, in a combined $155 million deal with the MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, to Rhode-based casino operator Twin River Worldwide Holdings, which recently changed its name to Bally’s after the acquisition of the popular brand from Caesars.

Caesars also offloaded a number of properties in other states, with the most recent one being the sale of Tropicana Evansville casino property in Indiana to GLPI and Twin River for $480 million. Also in October, Caesars and VICI announced the completion of the deal for the Harrah’s Reno Hotel & Casino in Nevada for $41.5 million to and affiliate of CAI Investments.

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