Sale of Lady Luck Casino in Vicksburg cancelled

Published 7:29 pm Monday, July 9, 2018

The sale of the Lady Luck Casino in Vicksburg to Churchill Downs has been cancelled because of antitrust concerns.

Eldorado Resorts of Reno, Nevada, announced the cancellation of the sale Monday.

The sale was supposed to be a package deal in which Churchill Downs, who owns the Riverwalk Casino near Lady Luck, was going to also buy Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie, Pennsylvania. The potential sale of Lady Luck was announced in March.

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Churchill Downs was going to pay $51 million for Lady Luck, which is one of four Vicksburg casinos.

Churchill will go through with the $179 million Presque Isle purchase, but instead will seek to take over the Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Farmington, Pennsylvania, for $100,000. Churchill is also paying Eldorado a $5 million termination fee.

Eldorado says the Nemacolin transfer will provide tax benefits.

An Associated Press article about the sale cancellation did not specify the antitrust concerns.

But an article in Louisville, Kentucky, Business First, citing a Churchill Downs press release on the sale’s cancellation, indicated both companies received a request in early May from the Federal Trade Commission for additional information for its Lady Luck Casino review, under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

Once both companies realized the time and expense involved in responding to the FTC request, according to the article, they mutually agreed to terminate the purchase agreement for Lady Luck.

Attempts to contact officials with Lady Luck and Churchill Downs were unsuccessful at press time.