PCI Gaming granted conditional approval to buy Magic City Casino
After more than two months of deliberation, the Florida Gaming Control Commission (FGCC) has given conditional approval for the sale of Miami-based Magic City Casino to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama.
The commission’s decision will permit the Poarch-owned PCI Gaming Authority to finalize the purchase of the casino owned by the Havenick family and its West Flagler Associates firm. This will allow the tribe to offer electronic casino games in addition to slot machines and poker in the state.
A representative of PCI Gaming and West Flagler Associates, attorney John Lockwood, told the Florida gaming regulator that the transaction was a cash deal; however, an exact purchase price was not revealed. Industry insiders estimate the acquisition cost by PCI Gaming to be around $600 million.
Magic City Casino, formerly known as Flagler Dog Track, has been owned and operated by the Havenick family for generations. The sale will be the gaming venue’s first change of ownership since it began operations.
Jay Dorris — the CEO and president of Wind Creek Hospitality, the PCI Gaming subsidiary that will manage Magic City — revealed that the currently unused dog track would be turned into a luxury resort. It will also include a shopping center and various other attractions.
“We’re very pleased that the commission made their conditional approval. We’ll get the deal closed, and we’re going to be very transparent and provide them with whatever info they need,” Dorris said.
The CEO also referred to the acquisition as an excellent opportunity for the company to improve a successful business. He stated that Wind Creek Hospitality intends to invest heavily in the development in the property.
PCI Gaming will make use of all Magic City staff for the foreseeable future, excluding select senior executives who will continue working with West Flagler Associates. The gaming authority will also manage other operations, like a license to offer summer jai-alai and poker in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood as well as the Bonita Springs Poker Room by Fort Mayers.