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Mississippi Casino Sale Canceled Due to Antitrust Concerns

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Mississippi Casino Sale Canceled Due to Antitrust Concerns

A Mississippi casino deal fell through this week due to antitrust concerns. Kentucky’s Churchill Downs announced plans to purchase Mississippi’s Lady Luck Casino in Vicksburg for $51 million in March. The acquisition was part of a package deal that included the purchase of Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie, Pennsylvania for $179 million.

According to a local Kentucky news source, Churchill Downs called off the sale. A Mississippi source, the Vicksburg Post, reports that both companies received requests for additional information on Lady Luck from the Federal Trade Commission. The requests indicated the review was required to comply with the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

According to the Vicksburg Post, both companies mutually agreed to terminate the sale due to the time and expense involved in responding to the FTC request. Churchill Downs is not off the hook – the former buyer agreed to pay Eldorado Resorts of Reno, Nevada, owners of Lady Luck, a $5 million termination fee.

Churchill Downs still plans to follow through with the purchase of Presque Isle Downs for $179 million. Instead of purchasing the Lady Luck in Mississippi, the Kentucky-based gaming operator will seek a deal to acquire the Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Farmington, Pennsylvania.

Churchill Downs will reportedly take over the Pennsylvania Lady Luck for only $100,000, or one-fiftieth of the cancellation fee the operator will pay to Eldorado for the failed deal in Mississippi. Lady Luck is Pennsylvania’s smallest and lowest-earning casino but it is the only one in the state with its own airport.


Hailing from Wisconsin but arriving in Las Vegas in 1995, I'm better known at various US online poker rooms under the pen name "OreoBob" and "SoyFlush". I'm an avid poker player and editor-at-large who has contributed as a freelance writer for diverse national and international iGaming publications since 2004.

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