The $360 million sale of the Tropicana Las Vegas to casino and racetrack operator Penn National Gaming was approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) on Thursday. The deal is expected to be finalized next Tuesday. The NGC very few questions about the transaction, originally announced in April.
After years of speculation about property purchases on the Strip, the Wyomissing, Pennsylvania based company which operates 26 casinos and racetracks in 18 states, and owns M Resort in Henderson, will finally add a Las Vegas Boulevard South property to their portfolio. Penn National’s CEO Tim Wilmott told the NGC, “We have spent many years looking for the right presence on the Las Vegas Strip.” The company estimates spending $200 million over the next four years for upgrades to the Tropicana that will include the slot machine floor.
Integration of the company’s player database after finalization of the purchase will cost Penn National $20 million. The company likes the name Tropicana, and will not match the identity of it to other Hollywood-themed properties they own, avoiding any confusion with Planet Hollywood Hotel-Casino on the strip which is operated by Caesars Entertainment.
Located about 10 miles from the strip, Penn’s 390-room M Resort attracts about 25 percent of Penn National customers who regularly visit Las Vegas, according to Penn executives. Some of the business Penn has cultivated since its purchase of the M Resort in 2011 has outgrown the property and could possibly transfer to the Tropicana, according to Wilmott.
Former general manager of Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, Bob Sheldon was named president of the company’s Las Vegas properties. Beginning his career in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Hilton and Mirage Resorts, Sheldon’s resume includes overseeing Foxwoods in Connecticut and serving as the Golden Nugget’s president.