Delaware North Buys Mardi Gras Casino & Resort to Expand West Virginia Presence

Buffalo, New York-based gaming and hospitality company Delaware North Companies confirmed on Thursday that it would buy Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in Cross Lanes, West Virginia for an undisclosed price. The hotel and casino venue is currently owned by real estate company Hartman & Tyner Inc.

The casino portion of the property was first launched in 2008, a year after casino gambling was legalized in its home state. Mardi Gras’ gaming floor currently occupies 90,000 square feet and features 1,000 slot machines and 30 table games, including roulette, craps, and three-card poker among others. Prior to the legalization of casino gambling, the property had operated as a greyhound and horse race track.

Aside from its gaming and racing facilities, Mardi Gras also features a resort portion with 150 hotel rooms as well as multiple dining and entertainment facilities.

The acquisition deal will be completed once the West Virginia Racing Commission and the West Virginia Lottery Commission give the necessary approval. As a gaming and racing property, Mardi Gras is regulated by the two regulatory bodies.

West Virginia Expansion

Once the purchase is completed, Mardi Gras will become Delaware North’s second property in West Virginia. The company currently owns Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack in Wheeling, West Virginia, which features a gaming floor with 1,100 slot machines, table games, and a poker room, live greyhound racing, a 151-room hotel, multiple dining options, a showroom with 1,000 seats, and a meeting facility, among others.

Here it is also important to note that Delaware North’s gambling and entertainment operations spread across several other states, including Florida, New York, Illinois, Arizona, Arkansas, and Ohio.

Of their decision to sell Mardi Gras, Hartman & Tyner representatives said that it has been great pleasure for them to operate in the Cross Lanes community for more than 25 years. However, the company has decided to focus on its real estate business in Michigan, following the decease of one of its principals.

As mentioned above, it was in 2007 when West Virginia lawmakers authorized the addition of table games at the state’s existing race tracks. A year later, a number of venues added blackjack, craps, and roulette at their premises, thus expanding their gambling offering.

At present, properties offering casino-style gambling are required to pay a 35% to 49% portion of their gross gaming revenue in taxes to the state.

According to information provided by Gambling Compliance and its gambling data branch, the total amount of $560.2 million was generated in gambling revenue in 2017, down from $604.7 million in 2016. As usual, the greater portion of the annual gaming revenue came from slot machines. It totaled $521.3 million in 2017, down from $537.7 million a year earlier. Table games at the state’s casinos generated nearly $39 million, down from $43.5 million in 2016.

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