Casino giant Caesars Entertainment Inc. announced Tuesday that it would remove the Belle of Baton Rouge riverine casino from its portfolio of properties.
The company entered into a definitive agreement to sell the Baton Rouge, Louisiana gambling venue to CQ Holding Company, Inc. (Casino Queen) for an undisclosed amount.
Caesars had a 15-year lease with the Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLPI) real estate investment trust for the river casino. Caesars said Tuesday that under the terms of an amended lease agreement with GLPI, the Baton Rouge facility would be removed from GLPI Master Lease and rent payments to the REIT would remain unchanged.
GLPI would remain the owner of the land and buildings associated with Belle of Baton Rouge after the transaction closes, it was also disclosed.
The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in mid-2021.
Caesars CEO Tom Reeg thanked his Baton Rouge team members “for their hard work and dedication,” especially during the coronavirus pandemic, and wished them “the best under the ownership of Casino Queen.”
A property in trouble
The predecessor to Caesars, Eldorado Resorts, and GLPI bought Belle of Baton Rouge in October 2018 as part of a larger deal of $ 1.85 billion to acquire the entire property of Tropicana Entertainment.
Eldorado took over the old Caesars last July to combine its entire portfolio of assets with Caesars’.
The combination of Eldorado and Caesars got approval from Louisiana regulators in january. However, Eldorado received serious criticism about the state of its Belle of Baton Rouge property at the time.
During a regulatory hearing on the Eldorado-Caesars alliance, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board asked Mr. Reeg, who was Eldorado’s CEO at the time, if the combined group would be up to the task of “ make sure extend attention to all properties in all the states in which it operates. ”
The regulator’s chairman at the time, Ronnie Jones, also pointed out at that hearing that the state of Belle of Baton Rouge was unacceptable and that it could not allow the property to “get lost in the bush” during its surveillance.
Mr. Reeg told regulators that they were looking for bring Belle from Baton Rouge to the shore and in an atrium that was once occupied by a failed shopping center.
It is not yet clear what plans the new owners of the property have for its future.
Caesars is in the process of selling two more of its Louisiana properties. In September, the company announced that it would eliminate Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Casino, Racing & Entertainment from your wallet. Rubico Acquisition Corp. has agreed to purchase the Bossier City casino and racing complex for $ 22 million.
In addition, Caesars will sell Eldorado Resort Casino in Shreveport to Bally’s Corporation (formerly Twin River Worldwide Holdings).