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MGM Growth buys Hard Rock Rocksino

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MGM Growth Properties has acquired of Cleveland’s Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield in a $1.06 billion deal.

As part of the deal, MGM Growth will inherit a 200,000-square foot casino with 2200 video lottery slot machines, along with the Northfield Park harness racetrack, from previous owner Milstein Entertainment. The REIT, an MGM Resorts spin-off, is also in the process of finalizing the acquisition of the famous Yonkers Raceway and its accompanying Empire City Casino.

MGM Growth was formed in 2016 and launched and its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange shortly afterward, raising $1.2 billion. It is 70 per cent owned by MGM Resorts International.

A real-estate investment trust (REIT) is essentially an investment vehicle formed to acquire and own properties, offering investors both large and small the chance to own shares of high-value commercial real estate.

REITs receive special tax considerations and can trade at higher stock market prices, potentially offering investors high returns.

On its formation, MGM Growth took over ten MGM Resort properties, including Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, New York-New York, Luxor, and Excalibur, which it leases back to MGM Resorts to operate.

The Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park will be rented to its majority owner for $50 to $60 million a year, the company has said.

The REIT model makes sense for large casino operators managing dozens of properties as a means to raise funds which can then be spent on further acquisitions.

Penn National started the ball rolling in 2013, and has since been joined by MGM and Caesars Entertainment, which created VICI Properties last year, as a way of easing its passage out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

MGM Growth CEO James Stewart said in an official statement on Friday he was “excited” about the first official addition to the REIT’s portfolio, which he added would bring “further geographic diversification” to the MGM brand.

“[A REIT] improves the balance sheet of MGM Resorts, it provides another growth vehicle for the company and it will…provide a different investment opportunity, as [Growth Properties] goes out and can acquire assets,” MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren further explained about the spin-off.

Known as the “The Home of the Flying Turns” and for its motto “Every nineteen minutes the place goes crazy,” Northfield Park is the venue for the Battle for Lake Eerie, which has grown from its 1980s inception to become one of the premier events on the Free-For-All pacing calendar.

It also operates Cedar Downs, the only off-track betting parlour in Ohio.

 

Source: casino.org


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PAGCOR Press Statement on Quezon City’s insistence to impose casino entry fees

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As Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte continues to insist on the imposition of entrance fees to Quezon City residents who wish to play in casinos and other gambling facility in the area, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) underscores several cases and provisions that cite the supremacy of national government over local government units.

First, in “Basco vs. PAGCOR (1991)”, wherein the City of Manila filed a case seeking to annul the PAGCOR charter, the court ruled that Presidential Decree (P.D.) 1869 waived the right of the city to impose taxes and fees. The court decision cited that the power of the local government to impose taxes and fees “is always subject to limitations which Congress may provide by law.”

It furthered that P.D. 1869 remains an operative law, until amended or repealed.

Another case, “City of Cagayan de Oro vs. Pryce and PAGCOR (1994)”, cited that ordinances should not contravene a statute that is obvious. It stated that “municipal governments are only agents of the national government; and local councils exercise only delegated legislative powers from Congress as the national law-making body.” Hence, local government units cannot be superior to Congress from which they derive their powers.

The third case, “Herbert Bautista vs. PAGCOR (2016)”, cited that under its Charter, PAGCOR and its agents are exempted from paying local taxes as P.D. 1869 Section 13 provides that “no tax of any kind or form, income or otherwise, as well as fees, charges or levies of whatever nature, whether national or local, shall be assessed and collected under this Franchise from the Corporation nor shall any form of tax or charge attach in any way to the earnings of the Corporation, except a franchise tax of five percent of the gross revenue or earnings derived by the Corporation from its operation under this franchise.”

The entry fees on the city residents who will enter the casino which the Quezon City local government is contemplating on imposing, takes the form of “tax” because of its nature to generate revenues.

However, if the purpose of the imposition of entry fees is to discourage citizens to frequent gaming facilities, such practice is an obvious exercise of police power, and in fact, an encroachment on the function of a national regulatory entity.

PAGCOR, having been granted by Congress with the power to regulate gambling, has the authority to determine the rules and regulations that may deem fit in the regulation of the gaming industry.

If PAGCOR does not find it necessary to impose entrance fees to its clients, then Quezon City’s local government cannot supersede this even if it claims that the imposition of entry fees is only applicable to their constituents.

Besides, if the local government of Quezon City believes that doing such is tantamount only to “safeguarding the welfare of their people”, why did it grant so many Letters of No Objection (LONOs) and Resolutions of No Objection (RONOs) to bingo and other electronic gaming sites in Quezon City?

As of February 28, 2019, there are 97 electronic gaming sites in Quezon City. Of this number, 63 are bingo sites and 34 are eGames gaming sites. This figure does not include the LONO and RONO granted by Quezon City government to Solaire Resort and Casino.


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: PAGCOR Press Statement on Quezon City’s insistence to impose casino entry fees

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Blackstone to acquire Ukrainian gaming development company

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The Blackstone Group LP, a US-based investment and asset management company, is all set to acquire Murka Ltd and Murka Entertainment Ltd, an Unranian company that develops unique social and mobile games. The Blackstone Group has already informed Cypriot Commission for the Protection of Competition about the plan.

Murka, established in 2011, is known for its social-casino games like Slots Journey, Slots Journey 2, TX Poker, S & H Casino, Vegas Slots, Royal Fortune Slots, Bubbla Cadabra and Scatter Slots.

These games, where real money cannot be won, exist as mobile apps and on Facebook. Publisher of social casino games earns money via selling in-game content and/or advertising. According to various data, the global social casino market in 2018 brought publishers from $ 3.2 billion in total to $ 3.46 billion on mobile platforms.

Currently, over 100 people work in the Kiev, Dnipro and Lviv offices of Murka. The company has not commented the conditions of the upcoming transaction yet.


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Blackstone to acquire Ukrainian gaming development company

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Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein to re-open casino at Atlantic City site

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Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein has announced his plans to re-open a casino at Atlantic City that was closed in 2014. Blatsetein owns the Showboat which has been functioning for three years as a non-gambling hotel.

When this happens, this will be the 10th casino at Atlantic City. In 2014, the City had 12 casinos. The competition from neighbouring states forced the closure of the four of them. The state Casino Control Commission has given Blatstein preliminary approval to apply for a casino license. He strongly believes in the potential for another casino.

“There are 104 casinos in Las Vegas in the middle of nowhere,” Blatstein said. “We have nine casinos well within a short trip from one-third of the nation’s population. The market is looking for something different.”

Blatstein said he has a casino concept in mind but would not reveal it. A report from the state Division of Gaming Enforcement says Blatstein plans to convert the property’s bus depot into a family entertainment centre and that he intends to offer a full range of slot machines, table games, sports betting, and internet gambling.


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein to re-open casino at Atlantic City site

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