American Racing & Entertainment, LLC has announced today that they have raised $90 million in new senior secured debt facilities to help complete a casino expansion for Tioga Downs Casino located in Nichols, New York. The facility consists of an $80 million Delayed Draw Term Loan facility plus a $10 million Revolving Credit facility.
Expanding the current VLT casino and race track will cost $134 million in all and will result in a full-service casino and hotel with slot machines, Las Vegas style gaming tables, and entertainment amenities.
Tioga Downs was officially approved for a casino license by the NY Gaming Commission on August 30, 2016, after being passed over in the first batch of upstate New York site recommendations. A press release from the company today said that Tioga Downs is working closely with the commission to complete the final steps required by law to turn the racetrack video lottery terminal entertainment center into a full-scale casino so that they can open the property as soon as possible.
In early July 2015, Tioga Downs submitted an application so detailed that it filled over 50 boxes with paper. About a year ago they broke ground after the New York Gaming Facility Location Board approved the site and recommended a license be granted. In March of this year the facility held a topping off ceremony as the highest reaching piece of construction material was put in place. In early September this year they began construction in earnest on a new 161 room hotel and event center for the facility, and earlier this month new slot machines began arriving in anticipation of offering them at the current facility beginning as early as next month.
Once complete, Tioga Downs will offer 33,000 sq ft of casino space with nearly 1,000 true RNG slot machines, 44 gaming tables, a 161-room hotel, 3 restaurants, 3 bars/lounges, a 6,500 sq ft event center, spa, and offsite golf course and country club. The hotel and banquet/event center are expected to be completed by this time next year.
Jeff Gural, CEO of American Racing & Entertainment, said in a statement today; “Getting this project financed is not only a win for us as a company, but also the Southern Tier community. It will act as an immediate catalyst for economic growth by creating over 550 jobs and attracting more people to the area.” He added, “Our business is already booming so I am really encouraged to see the Tioga Expansion continue to drive visitation and improve the local economy.”
American Racing & Entertainment is also the majority owner of Vernon Downs Casino Hotel Racing & Entertainment about 100 miles to the north. The company was founded in 2005 by Gural.