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MGM Resorts transfers MGM Springfield to company's real-estate trust

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MGM Resorts International will sell the real estate assets of MGM Springfield, its western Massachusetts casino, to MGM Growth Properties, the company’s real estate investment trust, the entities announced Tuesday.

MGM Resorts will lease the property back from the trust and continue to operate the casino “with no expected change to its employees, vendors, customers and the community,” MGM Resorts said in a news release.

MGM Growth Properties will pay MGM Resorts about $400 million for the property.

In a statement, Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts’ president and chief executive officer, said the transaction “serves the best interests of the shareholders of both companies and further advances our asset-light commitment.” He said MGM Springfield “has exhibited strong financial performance as it emerges from the pandemic ...”

MGM Resorts sought for years to block the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes’ plan to build a casino in north-central Connecticut to limit MGM Springfield’s competitive impact on Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun, the tribes’ southeastern Connecticut casinos. MGM Resorts’ 2019 lawsuit over the U.S. Department of the Interior’s approval of the tribes’ amended gaming agreements with the state still is pending in federal court.

Gov. Ned Lamont and the tribes have negotiated a gaming-expansion plan that calls for the tribes to defer their East Windsor casino for 10 years.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com 

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