Churchill Downs pulls out of race to buy Mississippi casino

USA: Gaming operator, Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has dropped its interest in purchasing a Mississippi casino.

The deal was called off due to competition concerns raised by federal regulators.

CDI, in February, made known its intention to acquire the Lady Luck Casino Vicksburg in Mississippi and the Presque Isle Downs and Casino from Eldorado Resorts Inc (ERI).

However, the company has pulled out of the $50 million Vicksburg portion of the deal due to a show of interest in the exchange by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Churchill Downs Incorporated announced on Monday its decision to scrap the deal to acquire Vicksburg adding that a $5 million termination fee would be paid to ERI as stipulated in the agreement.

CDI called off the deal after the Federal Trade Commission sought more information about the deal from both parties, to ensure it does not violate the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

With this inquest, CDI and ERI mutually decided to close the Vicksburg deal “considering the time and expense needed to reply to the FTC.”

In 2012, CDI acquired the Riverwalk Casino Hotel in Vicksburg, Mississippi, while it also operates another one in the area.

Even though the Vicksburg deal is currently off the table, CDI is in talks to pay $100,000 to have the operational rights of ERI affiliate the Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Farrington, Pennsylvania.

An acquisition of Presque Isle Downs would also depend on the Nemacolin deal if it meets no objections from the FTC or from Pennsylvania gaming regulators.