Twin River buying Hard Rock Casino in Mississippi - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Twin River buying Hard Rock Casino in Mississippi

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LINCOLN, R.I. -

The company that owns Twin River Casino in Lincoln is buying the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi in Mississippi for about $250 million.

Twin River Worldwide Holdings made the announcement Sunday. The sale is expected to be complete in June.

The Mississippi casino is currently owned by Premier Entertainment Biloxi LLC, a subsidiary of Leucadia National Corp. The casino property boasts more than 1,300 slot machines and more than 50 table games. The 12-story hotel has 325 rooms with a spa, fitness center and pool. Under construction is a new 154-room tower that should be complete by February of next year.

"This is a premier property within the Biloxi casino market with incredibly strong name recognition thanks to the iconic status of the Hard Rock brand," said John E. Taylor Jr., chairman of Twin River. "Moreover, the property has a wonderful staff with deep roots in the community.

The Hard Rock in Biloxi was days from opening in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit. The property was restored and opened in June 2007.

The estimated completion date for the acquisition is June 2014, subject to regulatory approvals. The closing is also subject to approvals by Hard Rock International. Twin River said it has secured committed financing for the transaction.

The acquisition will strengthen Twin River's parent in its effort to absorb the inevitable impact of casinos coming to Massachusetts.

Twin River is the third-largest revenue generator for the state of Rhode Island and also generates millions of dollars for the town of Lincoln, which is why local resident Paul Rodrigues likes anything that keeps the casino in business.

"I think it's good because Twin River helps our taxes. Our taxes would be higher if we didn't have that," said Rodrigues.

After recently adding table games, the acquisition in Mississippi is the latest move by Twin River's owners to stay viable.

Though one Rhode Islander said she'd rather see Twin River expand at home.

"In fact, I think they should do a hotel around here so people can do package deals because now with the tables there it would bring a lot of jobs and a lot of business to Rhode Island," Kelly Leclair said.

The Biloxi property is expected to retain the Hard Rock name.

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