Nevada: Bally’s closes on purchase of MontBleu in Lake Tahoe from Caesars

April 7, 2021 8:23 PM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports
April 7, 2021 8:23 PM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports

Bally’s Corp. closed on the company’s purchase of MontBleu Resort Casino in Lake Tahoe, Nevada from Caesars Entertainment on Wednesday, a transaction that satisfied the seller’s agreement with the Federal Trade Commission.

As part of last summer’s $17.3 billion merger between Caesars and Eldorado Resorts, the companies had to sell Eldorado Shreveport in Louisiana and MontBleu to avoid federal antitrust issues. Bally’s agreed to purchase both properties for a combined $155 million.

When the transaction for the Louisiana casino was completed in December, Bally’s said it paid $140 million for the property, meaning the Lake Tahoe casino was valued at $15 million.

MontBleu is owned by the Edgewood Companies, which controls the land and buildings. Bally’s said last April it entered into an amended agreement with the landlord, that included the extension of the lease term to the end of 2035.

The transaction’s closing gives Bally’s its 12th gaming property and its eighth state. The company has deals pending for Tropicana Evansville in Indiana and Jumer’s Casino in Rock Island, Illinois.

It’s expected that MontBleu will be renamed under the Bally’s brand as part of the company’s national branding strategy.

“MontBleu is a premier entertainment asset that is commensurate with the iconic Bally’s brand, and advances our ongoing portfolio diversification strategy,” Bally’s CEO George Papanier said in a statement. “With the close of this transaction, we look forward to integrating the property into the Bally’s family, and utilizing it as an attractive destination for our loyal Bally’s customers to drive visitation to Lake Tahoe.”

The $80 million Tahoe South Event Center is being built adjacent to MontBleu on land donated by Edgewood.

“This is a destination property and a first-class place to go in Nevada,” Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim told the Nevada Gaming Commission last month. “This is an opportunity to have a destination for our customers from different parts of the country and have a resort experience like Lake Tahoe.”

The property is Bally’s first in Nevada. Bally’s Las Vegas is owned by Caesars Entertainment, which retained perpetual licensing rights for the Strip casino when it sold the name and trademarks to Kim for $20 million.

“I want to thank the team members of MontBleu for all of their hard work and dedication throughout the years with the Caesars organization, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Caesars CEO Tom Reeg said in a statement. “We wish all of them continued success under Bally’s ownership.”

The 438-room MontBleu has 418 slot machines, 17 tables games, and 14,000 square feet of convention, meeting & exhibition space.

Shares of Bally’s, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, closed at $62.01 Wednesday, down $2.37 or 3.68%.

Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at hstutz@cdcgaming.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.