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Casino City’s Friday Five: Groundbreaking jackpot edition

5 Oct 2018

By Dan Ippolito
We've turned the page on the calendar and have entered October, and there's a lot of news to cover. There are more U.S. sportsbook developments with the expansion of an existing partnership. We also have a milestone jackpot payout, another big jackpot at an online casino, Las Vegas breaking ground on an entertainment venue and an acquisition by Eldorado Resorts. Let’s begin in Las Vegas. 5. MSG Sphere Las Vegas breaks ground On 27 September, the Madison Square Garden Company and Las Vegas Sands officially broke ground on the MSG Sphere. The new entertainment venue will be located at The Venetian Las Vegas and is scheduled to open in 2021. The MSG Sphere at The Venetian will be on Sands Avenue between Manhattan Street and Koval Lane, and will feature a spherical shape. It will have a height of more than 360 feet and a width of more than 500 feet, with a scalable capacity of more than 18,000 seats, with all seats in front of the stage. Speakers at the event included Jayne McGivern, EVP of development and construction, the Madison Square Garden Company; Rob Goldstein, president and COO, Las Vegas Sands; James L. Dolan, executive chairman and CEO, the Madison Square Garden Company; and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval. 4. Eldorado Resorts completes Tropicana Entertainment acquisition Eldorado Resorts, Inc. announced this week that it completed its previously announced acquisition of Tropicana Entertainment Inc. Under the terms of the transaction, valued at approximately $1.85 billion, a subsidiary of Eldorado merged into Tropicana and Tropicana became a wholly owned subsidiary of Eldorado. The acquisition of Tropicana brings to Eldorado the operating assets of seven casinos in six states, including Nevada (the Tropicana Laughlin Hotel & Casino and the MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa in South Lake Tahoe), Indiana (Tropicana Evansville), Louisiana (Belle of Baton Rouge Casino), Mississippi (Trop Casino Greenville), Missouri (Lumiere Place) and New Jersey (Tropicana Atlantic City Casino & Resort). These properties collectively include approximately 7,900 slot machines, 265 table games and approximately 5,400 hotel rooms, along with a number of dining, retail and entertainment amenities. As a result, Eldorado’s expanded property portfolio now features more than 27,500 slot machines and VLTs, more than 800 table games, over 12,500 hotel rooms and nearly 20,000 team members. Tom Reeg, President and Chief Financial Officer of Eldorado, said, “With the acquisition of seven Tropicana properties, Eldorado enters two new gaming jurisdictions and adds financial and geographic diversity to our operating base. We have identified $40 million of synergies that we expect to realize over the next year. We believe the financing structure for the transaction, which includes a master lease of real estate acquired by GLPI, allows us to maintain financial flexibility for leverage reduction and continued transactional growth as we continue to own the majority of the underlying real estate across our remaining property portfolio.” 3. Golden Entertainment announces expanded relationship with William Hill Golden Entertainment has entered into a long-term agreement with William Hill to manage the company’s race and sports operations in Nevada, Maryland and Montana. This expands upon Golden Entertainment’s existing agreement with William Hill, which already operates the racebook and sportsbook at Pahrump Nugget Hotel & Gambling Hall as well as deposit kiosks at approximately 80 Golden Entertainment wholly owned taverns and third party distributed gaming locations throughout Nevada. The partnership further extends William Hill’s relationship with Golden Entertainment to include race and sportsbooks operations at Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower, Arizona Charlie's Decatur and Arizona Charlie's Boulder in Las Vegas and Aquarius Casino Resort in Laughlin, Nevada. William Hill will also continue to operate the race and sportsbooks at Edgewater Hotel and Casino and Colorado Belle Casino Resort & Microbrewery in Laughlin after Golden Entertainment finalizes the acquisition of these properties in Q1 of 2019. William Hill and Golden Entertainment will also pursue sports wagering opportunities in Montana and Maryland, subject to enabling legislation within these states. Golden Entertainment currently operates distributed gaming across Montana in approximately 300 locations and owns Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Maryland. William Hill is expected to begin operating Golden Entertainment’s additional Nevada race and sportsbooks by December 2018. 2. $4 million jackpot at PokerStars Casino A man from Lower Saxony, Germany, was playing the slot game Mega Fortune when we won the largest payout ever at PokerStars Casino. "StatisticPro" won $4 million after wagering $2.50. He has been a PokerStars player for the last 13 years, and his jackpot brings the total number of millionaires from the online casino to 20, which equates to over $38.5 million paid out from mega progressive jackpots. “I was numb and disbelieved for a few minutes,” said StatisticPro, referring to the moment that will change his life. 1. Rivers Casino Schenectady celebrated $50 million in jackpots A 62-year-old man from Stamford, Vermont, was playing one of the Wheel of Fortune slot machines at Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady when he hit a jackpot of $1,510. This jackpot made it so that players have taken home more than $50,000,000 in jackpot payouts since the casino’s grand opening last year. “We offer a wide variety of slot machines to our players, and are constantly introducing new games based on their feedback,” said Robert Long, General Manager of Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady. “It’s exciting when any jackpot is hit, but reaching a milestone this big is definitely a great celebration.”
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