MGM Resorts is planning to sell the Gold Strike Casino in Tunica to Cherokee National Entertainment Gaming Holdings for $450 million, saying they want to focus on a single resort, namely the Beau Rivage in Biloxi.
Jay McDaniel, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, says you don’t make an investment of this magnitude unless you believe you’ll recoup that.
“I don’t think that this is any indication of a problem with it,” McDaniel said. “I think that what you’re seeing is the Cherokee Nation wanting to diversify in other states. They looked at our state, they looked at a target that was valuable to them. And I believe their intention is to grow that market.”
Since the property is not on tribal lands, it will be licensed and regulated like other state casinos.
“You’re seeing a lot of these tribes move off tribal land,” McDaniel explained. “When they do, they fall under the commercial aspect which in Mississippi they’ll be treated just like MGM was. We will license them, we will be able to investigate, get tax revenue.”
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2023, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.