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VICI acquires 4 PURE casinos in Alberta: $271.9M

U.S.-based VICI Properties has acquired the real estate assets of four casinos and gaming facilities in Alberta from PURE Canadian Gaming for $271.9 million, the firm announced Monday morning.

The facilities are the PURE Casino Edmonton, PURE Casino Yellowhead in Edmonton, PURE Casino Calgary, and PURE Casino Lethbridge.

VICI has entered into a triple-net master lease agreement with PURE for the future operation of the facilities. 

The PURE master lease has an initial total annual rent of approximately $21.8 million. This represents an implied acquisition capitalization rate of eight per cent, and has an initial term of 25 years, with four five-year tenant renewal options. 

“Over the last five-and-a-half years, VICI has built a portfolio of market-leading experiential real estate. Today’s announcement marks another momentous first for VICI as we expand our footprint internationally into Canada with the acquisition of the PURE portfolio,” said John Payne, president and chief operating officer of VICI Properties, in the announcement. “This transaction highlights our ability to source, structure and fund cross-border transactions, widening our opportunity set as we continue along our growth trajectory. 

“We are pleased to add PURE as our 11th tenant and look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership.”

The casinos and their features

Features of the facilities include:

  • Edmonton: 72,000 square feet, opened in 1986. Contains 27 table games, 16 poker tables, 852 slots and 28 VLTs. It has three food and beverage outlets.
  • Yellowhead: 75,000 square feet, opened in 2000. Contains 24 table games, 15 poker tables, 753 slots, 26 VLTs. It has four food and beverage outlets.
  • Calgary: 57,000 square feet, opened in 1997. Contains 27 table games, 12 poker tables, 832 slots and 22 VLTs. It has one food and beverage outlet.
  • Lethbridge: 43,450 square feet, opened in 1988. Contains 11 table games, 13 poker tables, 427 slots and 28 VLTs. It has two food and beverage outlets.

Each of the facilities also includes a mix of social and show rooms, executive lounges, meeting spaces and a stage at PURE Casino Edmonton.

VICI reported it has financed the transaction with a combination of cash on hand and by drawing down funds under its existing revolving credit facility.

In an investor presentation on its website VICI says the contractual annual rent escalations are 1.25 per cent in the first three years, and the greater of Canada’s consumer price index, or 1.5 per cent, in years four-plus. The latter increases are capped at 2.5 per cent annually.

In a brief financial report, VICI says the casinos reported EBITDAR of $38.5 million in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2022, and a net income of $8.8 million.

The presentation calls Canada a “highly attractive” gaming market with over $17 billion in annual revenues across 114 casinos.

PURE is the largest gaming operator in Alberta, which VICI identifies as a “highly regulated market with minimal competitive threats and no significant changes to the business model over the last 30-plus years.”

About VICI Properties

VICI Properties Inc. is an S&P 500 experiential real estate investment trust that owns one of the largest portfolios of market-leading gaming, hospitality and entertainment destinations in North America. Properties include Caesars Palace Las Vegas, MGM Grand and the Venetian Resort Las Vegas, all on the Las Vegas Strip. 

The VICI portfolio consists of 49 gaming facilities across the United States and Canada comprising approximately 124 million square feet and features approximately 59,300 hotel rooms and more than 450 restaurants, bars, nightclubs and sportsbooks.

Its properties are leased to gaming and hospitality operators including Caesars Entertainment, Inc., Century Casinos, Inc., the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Foundation Gaming & Entertainment, LLC, Hard Rock International Inc., JACK Entertainment LLC, MGM Resorts International, Penn Entertainment, Inc., PURE Canadian Gaming Corp., and The Venetian Las Vegas. 

VICI Properties also has investing and financing partnerships with non-gaming experiential operators, including Great Wolf Resorts, Cabot, Canyon Ranch and Chelsea Piers. 

It also owns four championship golf courses and 34 acres of undeveloped and underdeveloped land adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip.

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