After reopening in May, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Casino, Racing & Entertainment is set to change ownership. Caesars Entertainment Inc. and VICI Properties Inc. have agreed to sell the casino for $22 million to Rubico Acquisition Corp. According to Caesars, the company will receive $16.5 million of the proceeds, while VICI will get the remaining $5.5 million.
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The annual base rent payments under the Regional Master Lease between Caesars and VICI will be unaffected and the transaction is expected to close at the end of 2020 or in early 2021.
Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, located at 8000 E. Texas St. in Bossier City, La., reopened on May 18 alongside Horseshoe Bossier City, another Caesars-owned hotel and casino. The Harrah’s property, which includes the casino, live horse racing, restaurants and hotels, has been operating at 25 percent capacity since its reopening.
Closing deals on closed casinos
In March, states with gambling hubs like Las Vegas, Atlantic City, N.J., and Connecticut decided to shut down casinos due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus. However, even prior to the casino shutdowns, Caesars and VICI sold Harrah’s Reno Hotel and Casino for $50 million to an affiliate of CAI Investments in January.
Despite the shutdowns caused by COVID-19, Caesars and VICI continued to transact and were able to sell another one of their casinos in April. The two companies agreed to sell Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino to Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc. for $25 million. Caesars also recently completed a $17 billion merger with Eldorado Resorts Inc. in July and VICI, which spun off from Caesars as a REIT in 2017, is expected to be impacted by the transition.