MGM enters Ohio market with casino takeover

MGM Resorts has secured a foothold in Ohio after taking over the operation of the state’s biggest casino resort, Hard Rock Rocksino.

With sports betting predicted to be legalised next year in Ohio – the seventh biggest US state by population with almost 12 million inhabitants – MGM now has a base in a desirable location between the major cities of Cleveland and Akron.

Hard Rock Rocksino has more than 2,300 video lottery terminals and includes several retail, food and beverage outlets, as well as entertainment venues and the Northfield Park horse racetrack.

Milstein Entertainment sold the property to MGM Growth Properties in a $1bn (£756m/€854m) deal that was completed in July. MGM Resorts has agreed to pay $275m to lease the casino from the real estate investment trust.

“Since opening its doors in 2013, the Rocksino has cemented itself as the market leader in gaming and entertainment due to its superior asset quality, premium location and dedicated employees,” MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren (pictured) said.

“We believe the Rocksino is a great fit for the MGM portfolio and will benefit from our capabilities as a leading global entertainment company. We anticipate revenue and profit growth from this combination.”

For the 12 months through to June 30, the Rocksino reported approximately $293m in net revenues and $94m in adjusted earnings. It has been the highest grossing casino property in Ohio in 35 of the last 39 months.

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