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Cherokee Nation Businesses Completes Acquisition of Gold Strike Casino Resort

Mississippi Gaming Commission Approves Transaction

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A $450 million deal for a casino in Mississippi has been completed.

Gaming Holdings LLC, an indirect subsidiary of Cherokee Nation Businesses, officially assumed operations of Gold Strike Casino Resort after receiving approval from the Mississippi Gaming Commission.

“This is a historic day of growth for our hospitality portfolio as we enter the commercial gaming industry, and we welcome the wonderful team at Gold Strike to the family,” said Mark Fulton, president and chief operating officer of Cherokee Nation Entertainment. “For years, we’ve set the standard of excellence in gaming. We are excited to invest in this beautiful property and bring our three decades of industry experience to guests in the Mid-South market.”

CNE Gaming Holdings LLC purchased the operating company from Mandalay Resort Group LLC, a subsidiary of MGM Resorts International, for approximately $450 million in cash. Gold Strike opened in 1994 and was acquired by MGM Resorts in 2005.

The Mississippi Gaming Commission issued its determination of suitability and approval of the acquisition in January. Concurrent with the purchase, the operating entity entered into a long-term lease agreement with GSCR Propco LLC, a subsidiary of VICI Properties Inc., which owns the real property associated with Gold Strike Casino Resort.

Gold Strike Casino Resort is located on the Mississippi River, approximately 30 minutes from downtown Memphis. Operations continued as usual, and over 1,100 employees were retained.

“This acquisition is a natural evolution for our company. Building our business outside of Oklahoma is a huge step that strengthens our ability to boost the Cherokee Nation economy while also building on our reputation of being a strong community partner and industry leader,” said Chuck Garrett, president and chief executive officer of Cherokee Nation Businesses. “We’re looking forward to sharing that commitment with the people of Mississippi by also investing in their communities and contributing to the local economy.”

“Patrons of Gold Strike have become accustomed to the excitement and southern hospitality they receive when they walk through our doors. Our plan is to build on that and exceed those high expectations every day,” said Max Fisher, general manager of Gold Strike. “We look forward to the new opportunities for providing a world-class experience to all our patrons and continue leading the industry in our region.”