Las Vegas-based Full House Resorts has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the operating assets of Bronco Billy’s Casino and Hotel in Cripple Creek for approximately $30 million. Bronco Billy’s is the last of the original Cripple Creek casinos still owned and managed by one of its founders.
Full House owns the Stockman’s Casino in Fallon, Nev., and is contract operator of Grand Lodge Casino at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe. The company also owns the Rising Sun Casino in Indiana and the Silver Slipper Casino in Bay St. Louis, Miss.
Marc Murphy, an owner and manager of Bronco Billy’s since the casino opened with gambling’s revival in 1991, recently presided over a major expansion of the business. The expansion, according to Full House, helped create a more attractive business opportunity.
“Believed to be one of the two market leaders in Cripple Creek,” the release noted, “Bronco Billy’s is located on the north side of Bennett Avenue, along the key city block that accounts for the bulk of the town’s gaming activity. The casino comprises a majority of that block and has certain ownership rights to portions of the rest of the block. Bronco Billy’s also controls significant land and structures that adjoin this key city block. Bronco Billy’s has approximately 830 slot and video poker machines, 13 table games, a 24-room hotel, a steakhouse, four casual dining outlets and an outdoor amphitheater. The casino was expanded in May 2015, adding approximately 15 percent more slot machines, 14 guest rooms (to the 10 that the property previously operated), and 2.3 acres of additional surface parking.”
Full House clearly believes that Cripple Creek gaming revenues, stagnant for several years, will continue this year’s modest recovery.
“We look forward to adding Bronco Billy’s Casino and Hotel to the Full House portfolio,” said Full House CEO Daniel Lee. “In addition to diversifying our geographic presence and cash flows, we are acquiring Bronco Billy’s at an attractive price. We expect that its management team will remain at the property.”
Full House expects to complete the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2015 or early in 2016. The $30 million purchase price is subject to reduction to $28.5 million if Bronco Billy’s 12-month adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) falls below $4.7 million. If earnings fall below $4.5 million, Full House can back out of the deal and recover its $2.5 million earnest money deposit.