MGM Resorts Selling Gold Strike Casino in Tunica to Cherokee Nation

MGM Resorts Selling Gold Strike Casino in Tunica to Cherokee Nation
By Thomas Leary
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

MGM Resorts International is selling the operations of the Gold Strike Casino in Tunica, Mississippi to the Oklahoma-based Cherokee Nation for $450 million. Gold Strike opened in 1994 and was acquired by MGM Resorts in 2005.

According to a press release, VICI Properties has agreed to enter a new separate lease with Cherokee Nation Businesses related to the operations of Gold Strike.

Gold Strike last September began offering Mississippi sports wagering from inside the gaming facility courtesy of BetMGM.

The BetMGM app is available for download at the Gold Strike, a facility that contains the BetMGM Book Bar & Grill.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2023, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Mississippi Sports Betting Update

In Mississippi, mobile betting is only available inside physical casinos; bets cannot be made outside the facilities, limiting the state’s sports betting market. 

The struggle to get sports betting offered as a true statewide mobile product hasn’t gone the way advocates would prefer this year.

While nearby states such as Louisiana, Tennessee and Arkansas offer online sports wagering, Mississippi residents must go to one of 26 riverboat casinos to place bets. (Gold Strike was one of two MGM Resorts, along with the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino).

In April, sports betting handle in Mississippi was $35,503,585, down 25.9% from March’s $47,889,213. Revenue rose from $4.04 million in March to $4.21 million in April. Mississippi also offers retail gaming at 26 riverboat casinos.

What’s Next for Online Sports Betting Legislation?

BetMississippi.com last month sat down with Jay McDaniel, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, to talk about the progress of legalization in the Magnolia State for sports betting and where it goes from here.

McDaniel said of online mobile sports betting, “Our legislature only meets, unless a special session gets called, in January and April every year. So, we’re kind of waiting to see what happens next January right now.”

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Contributors

Thomas Leary is a news editor and writer for BetMississippi.com. He previously spent six years at Sports Business Journal, where he helped identify emerging sectors across sports business, such as legalized gambling, and helped launch a digital newsletter division. Thomas lives in Charlotte, N.C., with his wife Emmie and their dog, Pickles.

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