Bally’s Corporation announced Tuesday it has now completed its acquisition of the Tropicana Las Vegas from Gaming & Leisure Properties and Penn Entertainment. The company got hold of the non-land assets of the casino for a cash purchase price of $148 million, payable to Gaming & Leisure Properties. The transaction lands Bally’s its first property in the renowned Vegas Strip.
Bally’s will lease the land underlying the Tropicana property from GLPI, a real estate investment trust (REIT) of Penn, for an initial term of 50 years at an annual rent of $10.5 million. The deal was initially announced in April 2021, and Nevada Gaming Commission granted final approval for the purchase last Thursday.
The company intends to make the Tropicana its western flagship operation. The property is located in Las Vegas, on a 35-acre parcel on the corner of Tropicana Boulevard and Las Vegas Boulevard. It includes 1,470 guest rooms, 50,000 square feet of casino space with 1,000 gaming positions, a 1,200-seat performance theater and 100,000 square feet of convention and meeting space.
Even though Tropicana customers will see some immediate changes, mainly due to the transition from Penn’s mychoice loyalty program to Bally’s Rewards, there are no immediate plans to change the name of the property. The company also indicated it is unlikely it will make any improvements to the Tropicana for one or two years.
In a call with investors on Q2 results, Bally’s CEO Lee Fenton discussed company plans for the casino: “We will continue to operate the property. I think it’s well-advertised that we intend to develop at some point in the future, but we will run the property on an as-is basis at least for the next 12 months until we have identified the plan and the partnerships that we want going forward.”
George Papanier, president of retail for Bally’s, had previously said that landing a preeminent spot on the Las Vegas Strip was “a key step” for the company. “The Strip is visited by over 40 million players and guests per year, which we believe will significantly enhance Bally’s customer base and player database, as well as unlock marketing opportunities to leverage the iconic Bally’s brand,” he had noted when the deal was first announced.
Executives said before completing the purchase that workers at Tropicana will remain in their jobs with the same pay and benefit levels they had under Penn. They also stated that the property’s sportsbook will continue to be operated by William Hill until the company is ready to transition to a Bally’s-branded amenity.