MGM Sets Sights on Mississippi For First Casino Reopening In The U.S
MGM Resorts has reportedly settled on Mississippi as its first target in the company’s planned resumption of casino operations suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MGM has confirmed that they will open the Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica (pictured) on May 25, followed by the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi on June 1.
The Mississippi Gaming Commission’s (MGC) reopening plan sets the allowed capacity of casinos at 50%. MGM casinos will also employ a safety plan that requires customers to maintain social distancing at all times and wear masks in areas where physical proximity cannot be avoided.
Both properties will resume their restaurant and bar operations, but will have to wait for a text message before collecting their food to avoid crowding. Room reservations for the reopening dates of both properties are already being accepted.
Bill Hornbuckle, the acting CEO of MGM, promised that the health and well-being of all their employees and guests will be considered top priority for their resumed operations.
WJTV 12 News
MGM Raises Additional $700 Million Through MGP Deal
Casino operators in the U.S are currently facing a severe economic downturn due to the effects of social distancing measures intended to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many operators are using debt issues to shore up their finances.
Boyd offered $500 million of senior notes this month, while MGM was able to collect $750 million through the same move a few weeks earlier.
MGM also raised another $700 million by selling their operating partnership units to its investment trust for real estate, MGM Growth Properties (MGP)—50% of what the trust can purchase until February 2022 under the terms of their agreement.
MGM is now sitting on a cash balance of around $5.3 billion, which Hornbuckle said would be used to ensure the firm’s ability to capitalize on potential opportunities during these trying times.
Multiple Operators Prepare To Reopen In Mississippi
A number of other gambling operators in the Magnolia State are also preparing for a reopening. Boyd Gaming, Penn National Gaming, Caesars Entertainment, and Eldorado Resorts have either opened properties or are planning to do so in the near future.
Boyd also plans on reopening three of their properties in Louisiana—Treasure Chest Casino, Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel—although the company is still waiting for regulatory approval. All properties will be subject to “Boyd Clean” protocols the company developed to guide their current operations.