The West Virginia Lottery Commission this week approved the sale of the Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort to casino operator Century Casinos.
Eldorado Resorts, the property’s current owner, announced this past summer that it has agreed to sell the casino and racetrack along with two other properties to Century Casinos and real-estate investment trust VICI Properties.
Under the terms of the deal, Century Casinos will pay $107 million for the operating assets of the Mountaineer as well as of Isle Casino Cape Girardeau in Cape Girardeau, Missouri and Lady Luck Casino Caruthersville in Caruthersville, Missouri. VICI will pay $278 million for the real estate assets of the three casinos.
The Mountaineer originally opened doors in 1951 as a live thoroughbred horse racing facility. It added a casino in 1994. The property’s gaming floor features 1,486 slot machines, 36 table games, and a poker room. The Mountaineer complex also includes five dining outlets and a 357-room hotel.
Century Casinos expects to close the purchase of the Mountaineer and the other two Eldorado Resorts properties in early 2020. The deal is subject to approval from the Missouri Gaming Commission and other customary closing conditions.
Of the new addition to their portfolio of properties, Century Casinos Co-CEOs Erwin Haitzmann and Peter Hoetzinger said that they are very excited to be expanding in West Virginia’s gaming market and that they are looking forward to working with the Mountaineer’s staff and host community to continue the current success of the casino and racetrack into the future.
Sports Betting at the Mountaineer
With the acquisition of the Mountaineer, Century Casinos will also succeed a sportsbook operated by William Hill US, the American division of major British bookmaker William Hill. Eldorado and its sports betting partner debuted the sports betting facility at the Mountaineer last November.
The Mountaineer is one of West Virginia’s three properties to be currently offering retail sports betting, with the other two being Hollywood Casino in Charles Town and The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs.
West Virginia is one of 12 US states to have gone live with regulated sports betting since the May 2018 ruling of the US Supreme Court that annulled a federal ban on the practice. West Virginia’s Legislature approved the legalization of both retail and digital wagering in the early spring of 2018, that is to say even prior the SCOTUS ruling.
It can be said that sports betting numbers have not been impressive since the start of sports betting last fall, but have somewhat improved in recent weeks thanks to the return of mobile betting.
West Virginia’s first mobile betting app went live in late 2018 with Delaware North’s two local casinos – Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island. However, that app was shut down just a couple of months later due to a bitter legal dispute between Delaware North’s sports betting partner and a third-party betting technology supplier.
In August, FanDuel was authorized to go live with mobile wagering in partnership with The Greenbrier to mark the return of digital athletic gambling to the state. Its archenemy DraftKings rolled out its app with Hollywood Casino just a few days later.
The Mountaineer does not offer a mobile wagering app at this point. However, given the fact that its betting partner William Hill has substantial experience in the mobile vertical, the casino may go live with a digital betting product in future.
The arrival of mobile wagering in West Virginia came as a bit of a boost to sports betting numbers, but state regulators believe that the two apps are yet to bring a real impact on the state’s market.
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