MGM Resorts and MGM Growth Properties (MGP) have finally completed the acquisition of Empire City Casino in Yonkers, New York, after a lengthy and complicated approval process involving the New York State Gaming Commission.
Following MGM Resorts’ acquisition of Empire City for approximately $850m, MGP acquired the developed real property from MGM Resorts for approximately $625m and leased it back to a subsidiary of MGM Resorts that will operate the property.
“We are pleased to welcome the 1,200 employees at Empire City Casino to the MGM Resorts family,” said Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts. “Over the past three years, we have established a meaningful presence in the northeast with Borgata in Atlantic City, MGM National Harbor in Maryland, and MGM Springfield in Western Massachusetts. With this new addition to the MGM Resorts portfolio, we have now gained a foothold in the high-density New York City region and we look forward to leveraging the MGM platform to maximize value in this evolving marketplace.”
Timothy J Rooney, President and CEO of Empire City Casino, added: “What’s incredibly exciting is the amount of opportunity MGM Resorts will bring to the employees at Empire City, as well as Westchester County, the city of Yonkers, and the State of New York. With destinations throughout the world, from resorts to casinos to entertainment, MGM has a tried-and-true formula for success.”
“Today, we continue to expand MGP’s best-in-class portfolio with the acquisition of the real estate assets of Empire City, expanding our geographic footprint to the New York City metropolitan area,” said James Stewart, CEO of MGM Growth Properties. “This financially accretive transaction further diversifies our existing market-leading regional portfolio and provides us with additional growth opportunities with a Right of First Offer on any potential capital improvements in the future.”
At first glance this looks like a good deal for MGM. Empire City sits on a 97-acre property and serves approximately 16 million eligible gaming customers in southern New York. It is located only 15 miles from Times Square in Manhattan. Offering gaming, racing, dining, and entertainment, the venue features over 5,200 of the latest slots and electronic table games, multiple dining outlets, and both live and simulcast horse racing.
However, it will not be able to offer sports betting, unlike the four upstate commercial casinos which, alongside the state’s seven tribal casinos, are set to be afforded that option within the next few months.