MGM Resorts to buy Yonkers casino

Deal expands MGM’s East Coast presence

Empire City Casino (Credit: Empire City Casino)
Empire City Casino (Credit: Empire City Casino)

MGM Resorts is buying a racetrack and casino in Yonkers for about $605 million, as the company expands its East Coast presence.

The hospitality and entertainment conglomerate said it plans to sell Empire City to MGM Growth Properties, the company’s real estate investment trust. MGM Resorts will lease the property back from MGP and operate it, the company said in a statement Tuesday. The transactions are expected to close in the first quarter of 2019.

The deal also includes refinancing Empire City’s outstanding debt, which is expected to be about $245 million at closing, MGM said. Empire City had previously been exploring a potential sale or partnership for the casino, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The 97-acre site — about 15 miles from Times Square — offers slots and electronic table games, dining and live and simulcast horse racing. Empire City has about 16 million gaming customers in southern New York, the statement said.

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MGM also agreed to pay an additional $50 million if the casino is awarded a license for live table games, including poker and blackjack, before 2023.

After a New York State Supreme Court ruling this month lifted limits on the U.S. sports-betting market, casino operators have been looking to make new investments.

Last fall, MGM Resorts announced plans plans for a $675 million casino and entertainment complex in Bridgeport. [WSJ] — Meenal Vamburkar