Paddy Power Betfair, MGM and Wakayama Prefecture: The week in numbers

Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. Keep reading to discover a first US-based non-gaming hotel launch, one city’s huge hopes to host one of Japan’s integrated resorts and significant New York strides for MGM.

$850m

MGM Resorts International and MGM Growth Properties have announced the completion of transactions to acquire Empire City Casino, located in Yonkers, New York.

MGM Resorts acquired the property for approximately $850m, with the company agreeing to pay an additional $50m if Empire City is awarded a license for live table games on or prior to December 31, 2022.

Following the purchase MGP secured the developed real property from MGM for in the region of $625m, and leased it back to an MGM subsidiary that is to undertake daily operations.

Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts, commented: “We are pleased to welcome the 1,200 employees at Empire City Casino to the MGM Resorts family.

“Over the past three years, we have established a meaningful presence in the northeast with Borgata in Atlantic City, MGM National Harbor in Maryland, and MGM Springfield in Western Massachusetts.

“With this new addition to the MGM Resorts portfolio, we have now gained a foothold in the high-density New York City region, and we look forward to leveraging the MGM platform to maximise value in this evolving marketplace.”

2024

Japan’s Wakayama Prefecture has announced further details of its integrated resort plans, should it win one of up to three licenses that are set to be issued by the country’s central government, report Asian news outlets.

The confident region, one of only three to confirm its interest in being a host thus far alongside Osaka and Nagasaki Prefecture, has earmarked Wakayama Marina City as its preferred site.

Chosen due to its established infrastructure, its location in close proximity to the Kansai International Airport, in addition to tourist spots such as the Shirahama Hot Springs and the Koyasan World Heritage Site, was also praised.

Wakayama is reported to have set aside $1.8m in next year’s budget for related costs, including IR research and wider financial concerns, with it estimated that an additional four million visitors will be attracted per year, bringing $2.75bn as a result.

It is intended that a grand opening will commence in 2024, alongside Osaka which is widely expected to be successful in its bid to host an IR.

51

Paddy Power Betfair has announced that it has secured number one position in the “fast growing regulated online Georgian market,” via the purchase of a 51 per cent stake in Adjarabet for an initial cash consideration of £101m.

The organisation has also agreed a further stipulation, under the terms of which it expects to acquire the remaining 49 per cent after a period of three years, at a valuation equivalent to seven times of 2021 EBITDA.

In a media statement Paddy Power Betfair released further details of its latest deal: “This acquisition provides the group with exposure to two attractive, fast-growing, regulated markets.

“The online Georgian market is estimated to have grown at a CAGR of 40% from 2016 to 2018 to an estimated £180m of gross gaming revenue, with the nascent Armenian market providing a further growth opportunity.

“We believe that the combination of the market-leading brand and local operational expertise with Paddy Power Betfair’s technology, and leading sports capabilities, positions Adjarabet very well to capitalise on this opportunity.”

1

Las Vegas headquartered Caesars Entertainment has announced plans to debut its first non-gaming hotel in the United States, which is to be located in the Arizona city of Scottsdale.

Falling under the organisation’s new Caesars Republic brand, the four star property is to be developed by HCW Development and operated by Aimbridge Hospitality, with Caesars licensing its brand, in addition to advising on design elements and integrating its total rewards loyalty network.

Stated to tap “into the unique pulse of each host city,” Caesars stressed that no two Republic entity’s are to be exactly alike, with “everything from the décor to the culinary offerings inspired by local traditions and taste-makers”.