MGM buys Empire City’s racetrack and casino for $850m

MGM Resorts and MGM Growth Properties said they have agreed to buy Empire City Casino’s racetrack and casino for $850 million, entering the high-density New York market.

MGM Growth Properties will buy the real estate from MGM and lease it back to the company. An MGM Resorts unit will operate the resort.

“We are excited to announce the addition of Empire City to the MGM Resorts portfolio,” said Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International. “This acquisition represents an excellent opportunity to further solidify our presence on the East Coast, and in particular, expand our reach into the high-density New York City region.”

“We believe this transaction enhances our free cash flow profile and presents attractive future opportunities for the company, and we look forward to welcoming the Empire City team and guests to the MGM Resorts family.”

MGM said it expects $260 million of the consideration to be settled in stock. Furthermore, MGM Resorts has agreed to pay additional consideration of $50 million if Empire City is awarded a license for live table games on or prior to December 31, 2022 and MGM Resorts accepts such license by December 31, 2024.

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, Empire City features over 5,200 of the latest slots and electronic table games, multiple dining outlets, and both live and simulcast horse racing.