On Thursday, Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) held a meeting on which the agenda was to confirm the sale of MGM’s Circus Circus to billionaire Phil Ruffin.
MGM, the largest gaming operator in Las Vegas Strip, acquired Circus Circus together with Mandalay Resort Group in 2005. MGM first announced the sale of Circus Circus in mid-October, the same day the company announced that it would trade Bellagio to a New York Company controlled by Blackstone Group at the cost of $4.25 billion in a deal that was finalized last month.
Phil Ruffin will spend $825 million to acquire the property entirely, the amount he will pay in installments with the initial amount being $662.5 in cash, and the remaining $162.5 million will be paid in 2024. According to Casino.org, Circus Circus was opened in 1968 at the cost of $15 million. Today, the property has grown to accommodate 2,300 employees and an Adeventuredome- a 5-acre indoor amusement park, a 10 acre RV Park, and 37-acre festival grounds.
Last month, Billionaire Ruffins appeared before the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) to discuss the sale plans. During his appearance, Ruffin speculated that room renovation could be done in the property to bring in new games such as bingo in the unused space. He also hopes to retain the property reputation and ensure that the cost is friendly in the future.
Circus Circus is considerably cheap compared to other Strip venues. MGM feels like the property has not attained the standards it enjoys in other properties in Nevada, such as Bellagio and Mirage. That difference made MGM feel like the property did not represent its image in Nevada; after all, it was not part of its original plan.
MGM is not yet done unloading properties in Vegas, the company is working with real estate investment trust (REIT) and MGM Growth Properties (MGP) to evaluate possible sale of Mandalay Bay. Last month, MGP announced that the sale of MGM Grand to REIT could boost its stock. MGM then plans to lease back the venue and continue operating the gaming space and hotel.