Prosperous Fun Gets Four Florida Gambling houses Inclusive of Stratosphere

Golden Entertainment, the owner of Nevada’s popular PT’s Pubs tavern chain has acquired four casinos in the state including the iconic Stratosphere. The deal with American Casino & Entertainment Properties valued at $ 850 million is for two Arizona Charlie’s properties located in Las Vegas and the Aquarius resort in Laughlin apart from the Stratosphere.

Once the deal closes, Golden will be in control of over 15,800 slot machines and around 115 table games overall. In terms of hotel rooms, it will own 5,100 rooms spread across eight casino properties and around 1,000 distributed gaming facilities, including its tavern chain.

The deal is expected to close by the end of this year, pending all regulatory approvals.

Under the deal terms, Golden will pay cash of $ 781 million plus 4 million shares of Golden stock to Whitehall Street Real Estate Partners 2007, which is a Goldman Sachs managed real estate equity fund that owns American Casino & Entertainment. The deal will give Whitehall a 15 percent stake in Golden. Golden has received financing of $ 1.1 billion from several financial institutions including JPMorgan Chase Bank, Credit Suisse and Macquarie Capital.

Golden already owns three gaming operations – Gold Town in Pahrump, Pahrump Nugget in Lakeside and the Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Maryland. It also operates slot routes across Nevada and Montana which covers over 12,000 machines. In Southern Nevada, Golden is best known for its chain of pubs operated under six brands – PT’s Gold, PT’s Ranch, PT’s Brewing, Sierra Gold Sean, Patrick’s Pub & Grill and SG Bar.

Blake Sartini Chairman and CEO for Golden called the acquisition a perfect fit, pointing out that millennials are a major customer group for its pubs. The casino industry has made it a priority to attract millennials into their facilities.

In a statement Sartini said

This is a transformational event for our company, creating a significant gaming portfolio centered around Nevada-based casinos that, in addition to our Pahrump properties, will include two well-known Las Vegas locals casinos, a destination resort in Laughlin and the iconic Stratosphere property on the Las Vegas Strip.

Sartini has in particular expressed optimism about the growth potential of the Stratosphere, which has around 15 acres of free land available. The 2,427-room Stratosphere features a 1,149foot tower which is the tallest freestanding observation building of the United States.

The property comprises an 80,000-square- foot casino which has 42 table games, 743 slot machines apart from other amenities like 13 different restaurants, nine bars as well as two swimming pools.

Saipan Casino Operator Imperial Pacific Gets Moody’s Downgrade

imperial pacificThe global ratings agency Moody’s Investors have issued a review to downgrade Hong Kong based casino developer Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd.

The company operates the Best Sunshine Live casino on the Saipan Island which is a part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. jurisdiction.

The Best Sunshine Live is the only casino operating in Saipan at the moment and is currently functioning as a temporary casino.

Moody’s has issued a rating of B2 which is five levels below the investment grade to the company’s group. The rating firm had indicated this earlier itself, when in September it gave the group a provisional B2 rating. Moody’s has also pointed out to concerns regarding the management of risk arising from possible money laundering in the Saipan casino. The money laundering allegations have been denied strongly by the company.

Imperial Pacific Resort

The casino in Saipan which opened in November 2015 is currently operating only temporary facilities and be shifted later to the under-construction $ 7 billion integrated resort Grand Mariana resort. The property will have a US$ 550-million investment for a permanent casino and a 365-room hotel which is slated for a 2017 opening. Moody’s downgrade is primarily due to its troubles in raising funds for the construction.

In a statement, Kaven Tsang, a Moody’s vice president and senior credit officer said

The review for downgrade reflects our concerns over Imperial Pacific’s lack of funding to complete its Grand Mariana project due to a delay in the issuance of the company’s proposed bonds. The investment will be funded mainly by… proposed bonds. While the bonds have not been issued, the major shareholders have been providing interim shareholder loans to keep construction going

According to media reports, Imperial has planned to sell bonds worth US$ 650 million in order to pay for the construction. Tsang said that the delay in issuing bonds could result in cost overruns and impact the construction schedule, delaying the opening of the casino. These could ultimately jeopardize their gaming license. This situation could also result in additional debt,increasing their debt leverage beyond expectations.

The ratings company has withdrawn the provisional B1 senior secured rating that it had issued to the U.S. dollar denominated bonds that were to be issued by Imperial Pacific International (CNMI). The withdrawal has been attributed to the company failing to issue the bonds as per its plans.

The company had submitted a filing with Hong Kong stock exchange in September saying that it was undertaking a book building exercise to determine the pricing of the bonds. But so far no update has been filed by the company with the exchange regarding book building for the bonds.