The Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack, and Resort has been sold. That was the news that came out of the WV Lottery Commission meeting on Wednesday.
The commission voted unanimously to approve the sale of Mountaineer, according to WV Metro News. Previous owner, Eldorado Resorts, is selling the Mountaineer to Century Casinos as part of a $107 million deal.
The deal brings a new player to the WV casino market, which features five casinos around the state. Century specializes in medium-sized properties and the Mountaineer fits in that regard.
WV Lottery director John Myers commented on the sale and the new owners.
“I think that’s been the way they’ve been able to grow their company. They don’t try to take on too big of a property, they take on the size they are used to managing and they can apply the same principles across all those properties.”
A quick look at the Century-Eldorado deal
The sale comes after months of rumors that Mountaineer was going to be sold in order to make a merger between Eldorado and Caesars Entertainment more attractive to regulators. In recent months, both companies have shed properties as they finalize the $7.2 billion deal.
Century has also purchased two Eldorado casino properties in Missouri as part of the acquisition. Caesars also announced earlier this week that it was selling the Rio in Las Vegas, home to the World Series of Poker.
The Mountaineer sale is expected to close in early 2020. Century inherits a horse track and 357-room hotel. The property’s casino also includes 1,486 slot machines, a poker room, and 36 tables games.
Century CEOs Erwin Haitzmann and Peter Hoetzinger also spoke about the sale in a news release.
“We are very excited to be expanding into West Virginia. Mountaineer is a great addition to our portfolio and will be our third racetrack and casino property. We look forward to working with the staff and community to continue the current success at Mountaineer into the future.”
Sports betting launched the state in 2018 and Mountaineer also hosts a popular retail sportsbook operated by William Hill. However, the property doesn’t yet offer a William Hill branded mobile sports betting app. through its betting partner.
That could change, however, and the deal offers Century an opportunity to get in the mobile sports betting business. William Hill is one of a handful of mobile betting operators who have have been approved to offer online sports betting in West Virginia.
The company believes Mountaineer fits well with its track and casino assets.
What is Century Casinos and what are its plans?
Century Casinos is based in Colorado and was founded in 1992. The company has plenty of experience in the industry.
It operates several casinos in Colorado and Alberta, Canada, where it also owns two racetracks. The company also owns one casino in the UK, has a majority interest in a casino in Poland, and also manages casinos on several cruise ships.
Most Mountaineer employees are expected to be retained after the deal finalizes.
Century officials have indicated they may have expansion plans for the WV casino. The company also hopes to be more competitive with properties in neighboring states.
That includes casinos in the Pittsburgh area to the east and Ohio casinos to the north and west. The Wheeling Island casino and racetrack is also only about 40 miles to the south.
Haitzmann spoke of the property’s potential for growth.
“Mountaineer used to be larger and with all the real estate available we see an upside and the possibility to grow further. Mountaineer is profitable now, you may say, in spite of the competition. I think it’s a healthy competition for the customers and think we’re well-equipped to get our fair share of the market.”