Isle of Capri Casinos are responsible for operating 15 casinos across 7 states in the U.S and cater to a total of 13 million visitors collectively on an annual basis. The company recently announced that it had decided to shut down one of its casinos based in Natchez, Mississippi.
The Missouri based Isle of Capri Casinos announced that it will wind up operations at its Natchez dockside casino, which is one of the oldest gambling establishments in Mississippi. The casino has been in operation since 2000 and has a total of 6 table games and 520 slot machines but has been unable to generate sufficient revenue since 2012, which was when the Magnolia Bluffs Casino opened its doors to the public.
The Natchez dockside casino brought in $23 million in the fiscal 2015 and Isle of Capri Casinos have decided that it would be in the best interests of the company to cease operations and sell the casino. The company has worked out a deal with Magnolia Bluffs Casino’s parent company Casino Holding Investment Partners to dispose of some its non gambling-related assets and its Natchez hotel for $11.5 million. If everything goes as per plan and all customary closing conditions are met, then the transaction will be finalized by the end of October 2015.
The competition on the coast between the Mississippi River from Tunica to Natchez is fierce as there are 12 coastal casinos. The Isle of Capri has to lease around 24 acres of land to run its Natchez casino which costs the company around $1.1 million. The company pays an additional sum of money for leasing around 7.5 acres of parking space and the overhead costs of running the hotel made it difficult to bring in substantial profits.
Virginia McDowell, the Isle of Capri’s president and chief executive officer stated that the company was proud of the Natchez casino and what it had accomplished during the last 15 years. McDowell also applauded the long term employees of the casino who worked hard and were committed to the casino.
So far there have been no applications for restructuring or changes from either the Magnolia Bluffs Casino or the Natchez casino. In a statement, Jay McDaniel, Mississippi Gaming Commission deputy executive director Jay McDaniel said “We require plans when ownership changes, submissions for any kind of new structure or anything like that, making sure anything that needs to be approved through the commission is done correctly. Typically a company makes a decision and we help them work through it.”
Isle Natchez is expected to remain fully operational until its closure and will honor all room reservations and events until that time.