Century Casinos Inc. expanded its holdings Wednesday adding Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Western Maryland in a deal for a combined $260 million.
With the addition of the Flinstone, Maryland casino, Century Casinos now operates 20 different entities throughout the globe. It has seven sites in the United States, five in Canada and runs eight casinos in six cities in Poland.
Century Casinos paid $56.1 million for the rights to operate Rocky Gap while VICI Properties purchased the land and the buildings for $203.9 million. VICI is a real estate investment trust that also owns Caesars Palace, the MGM Grand and Venetian Resorts in Las Vegas.
Rocky Gap customers won’t see much change in the day-to-day approach. While not stated, it’s common for an operator like Century Casinos to lease the land from a company like VICI.
Erwin Haitzmann and Peter Hoetzinger, Co-Executive Directors of Century Casinos, said in a release announcing the purchase:
“We are very excited to be expanding into Maryland. Rocky Gap is a great addition to our portfolio. We look forward to working with the staff and community to continue the current success at this property into the future.”
A Smooth Deal for Rocky Gap
Nestled in Rocky Gap State Park near Lake Habeeb, the Rocky Gap Casino Resort is a unique casino in the Maryland gambling landscape. The entire footprint is 270 acres and includes the only Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course in the state, an 18-hole layout.
The hotel is 198 rooms, and the casino floor covers 25,000 square feet and offers 630 slot machines and 16 table games. There are six food and beverage places, and the popular Bonkerz Comedy Club features regular acts.
Rocky Gap opened in 2013 and was built for $35 million into what was a lakeside golf resort’s conference center. At the time it opened, it employed 500 workers, 350 full-time.
Golden Entertainment ran Rocky Gap before selling it to Century Casinos. Golden Entertainment has eight casinos in Nevada and runs satellite gaming sites in Montana.
What’s Next for Rocky Gap?
The sale of Rocky Gap sparks interest into how Century Casinos may expand on the offerings. Rocky Gap does have a sports lounge, but does not have an on-site sportsbook, but it’s obvious VICI has partnerships with Caesars. The MD sports betting market is robust.
Maryland also continues to study the feasibility of adding online casinos for state residents.
The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency is conducting a study on legalizing online casinos in the state to join the 10 online sportsbooks. Online casinos function much like the real thing, except players can log on to the desktop or mobile device into their account and play slot machines or table games for real money.
There are seven states in the U.S. that permit online casinos, mostly all in the Northeast: New Jersey, Michigan, Delaware, Connecticut, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Rhode Island is expected to launch in 2024.
Seven sports betting operators licensed in Maryland run online casinos in other states: BetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel, BetRivers, DraftKings, PointsBet (now Fanatics) and Barstool.