Bally’s Corporation is to divest the real property assets of its two Rhode Island casinos, namely Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort and Bally’s Tiverton Casino & Hotel, to Gaming and Leisure Properties for $1bn.
However, the casino and entertainment operator will immediately lease back both properties and continue to own, control, and manage all the gaming operations of the facilities.
The pair will be added to an existing master lease, which has 14 years remaining as well as four five-year renewals at the tenant’s option, with incremental rent of $76.3m.
Normalised rent coverage on the lease, which also includes Bally’s venues such as Dover Casino Resort, Evansville Casino & Hotel, Quad Cities Casino & Hotel and the group’s Black Hawk Casinos, is expected to be 2.0x in the first calendar year following completion.
Bobby Lavan, Chief Financial Officer of Bally’s, commented, “Bally’s is excited to enter into this transaction with GLPI, further strengthening our growing relationship.
“The transaction will provide the company with significant, long-term liquidity, ensuring that Bally’s is best positioned to continue executing its capital and strategic plan, as well as to capitalise on future opportunities presented in the market.”
If all third-party consents and approvals for the acquisition of the Lincoln venue are not timely received, then GLPI will instead acquire the real property assets of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi in Mississippi, along with Tiverton, for total consideration of $635m and a combined annual rent of $48.5m.
Should this come to fruition, the real estate investment trust will also have the option, subject to receipt of required consents, to acquire the real property assets of Lincoln prior to December 31, 2024, for a purchase price of $771m and additional rent of $58.8m.
Peter Carlino, Chair and CEO of GLPI, explained: “GLPI is delighted to extend our relationship with Bally’s that brings to the table a high-growth track record through their ownership of properties in attractive regional gaming markets.
“Bally’s Rhode Island assets have delivered exceptionally strong performance over their lifetime thanks to their attractive location near Providence while planned capital investments at Lincoln offer healthy upside potential.
“Bally’s properties are currently the only two gaming facilities in Rhode Island and the transaction again diversifies our portfolio as the state becomes our 18th US jurisdiction.
“Importantly, this transaction comes with a conservative rent and master lease structure that offers GLPI material downside protection while offering our company an opportunity for additional long-term growth.”