Magnolia Bluffs Casino Hotel in Natchez, Mississippi, has been sold for an undisclosed price to the parent company of the Saratoga Casino Hotel in upstate New York.
The locals casino features approximately 500 slot machines, 14 table games, and a sportsbook. Magnolia Bluffs expanded its partnership with IGT last fall to incorporate sports betting. Magnolia Bluffs utilized the third-party sportsbook supplier for its Playmakers Sportsbook. The casino additionally has an off-site hotel with 141 guestrooms.
Premier Gaming Group, a local Mississippi gaming company co-founded by Kevin Preston, opened the riverboat in 2012. The casino sits along the Mississippi River in the town of Natchez.
A decade after opening Magnolia Bluffs, Preston has opted to sell the casino and hotel.
While this was an extremely tough decision for our partnership, it will truly leave our team and valued customers in the best hands possible,” said Preston. “Due to the long history we have here in Natchez, it was important for us to ensure we found the right company that has the same values and passion we do for the community and our team members.”
Preston and Premier Gaming Group believe they have found that in Saratoga Casino Holdings. The New York-based group owns and operates its namesake Saratoga Casino Hotel in Saratoga Springs, NY. The company’s portfolio additionally includes the Saratoga Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado.
Preston is assuring the 158 employees who work at Magnolia Bluffs that the sale of the property will have little impact on their jobs. He says guests won’t notice much of a difference.
The longtime gaming industry executive explained that Saratoga Casino Holdings is purchasing not only the casino and hotel but also the Magnolia Bluffs Casino name. The New York gaming operator will continue on with its lease and revenue share agreement with the city.
State gaming regulators will need to approve the transaction, which is expected to close in August or September. Sam Gerrity, chief operating officer of Saratoga Casino Holdings, has pledged to maintain the relationships Magnolia Bluffs has forged with its workers and patrons over the past 10 years.
“We are committed to operating first-class gaming facilities, and we do that by creating lasting relationships with our guests, team members, and the communities that we serve. We look forward to welcoming Magnolia Bluffs guests and team to the Saratoga family,” Gerrity said.
Magnolia Bluffs is the smallest casino of the 26 casinos in Mississippi. The riverboat’s gaming space measures only 16,032 square feet. The state’s largest is Island View where the casino floor spans 117,500 square feet.
Magnolia Bluffs is one of the state’s smaller gross gaming revenue (GGR) generators. The state gaming industry generated GGR of nearly $2.7 billion last year. Despite the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 was a record year for Mississippi casinos.
The Mississippi Gaming Commission groups casinos into three regional segments — Central, Coastal, and Northern. Magnolia Bluffs falls into the Central category, which accounted for only $364.5 million of the $2.7 billion in gaming revenue.
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