Former Gas City magnate’s casinos file for bankruptcy
From wire and staff reports August 3, 2012 7:08PM
Updated: September 6, 2012 6:26AM
VICKSBURG, Miss. — The owner of casinos in Vicksburg, Miss., and Bossier City, La., has filed for bankruptcy and plans to sell its casinos to an Oklahoma Indian tribe.
Legends Gaming filed Monday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in Shreveport, La. The company plans to sell its DiamondJacks casinos to Global Gaming Solutions for $125 million, said Kym Koch, a spokeswoman for Global Gaming.
William McEnery, a Homer Glen resident and former operator of the Gas City chain, is chairman and chief executive of Legends.
The bankruptcy court and state gaming regulators must approve. Legends has the right under the sale agreement to seek buyers willing to pay more. If multiple bidders emerge, the bankruptcy court could hold an auction.
Global Gaming is owned by the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. The company bought Remington Park Racing and Casino in Oklahoma City in 2010 and bought Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, in 2011. The tribe also owns 13 casinos in Oklahoma’s highly competitive Indian casino market.
Though tribes in Louisiana and Mississippi operate casinos outside the state regulatory structure, officials said Global Gaming would be regulated and taxed just like any other non-Indian casino owner.
In its bankruptcy filing, Legends listed assets between $50 million and $100 million and liabilities between $100 million and $500 million. Moody’s Investors Service said Legends has as much as $163 million in debt due in 2014.
Legends, which also filed for bankruptcy in 2008, said no workers will be laid off and that the casinos will continue to operate as usual.
“Our team members are essential to our future success, and should see no difference in their jobs,” McEnery said in a statement. “We believe that we have found a buyer who will continue DiamondJacks’ commitments to the communities in which we operate as well as to its most valued asset, our team members.”
DiamondJacks is typically last among Bossier City’s five casinos in terms of revenue, according to Louisiana state figures. Mississippi doesn’t release revenue figures for individual casinos, but DiamondJacks has the second-largest number of slot machines among Vicksburg’s four casinos. A fifth Vicksburg casino, Grand Station, closed in March amid its own bankruptcy.
McEnery’s chain of Gas City stations was sold off last year after the trust that owned the properties filed for bankruptcy, and McEnery was forced by creditors into personal bankruptcy a year ago. That bankruptcy case is still ongoing.
Contributing: The AP and staff writer Mike Nolan