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Fresh off Strip deal, Vici says it will explore other gaming assets

A day after officially acquiring the land under three Las Vegas Sands Corp. properties, casino landlord Vici Properties says it’s still looking to grow.

And the company’s appetite for buying more gaming real estate doesn’t seem to be satisfied yet, judging by Vici CEO Ed Pitoniak’s comments during a Thursday quarterly earnings call.

Pitoniak said it’s something the company will explore. He specifically expressed possible interest in a Caesars Entertainment asset, as Caesars has said it is actively shopping one of its Strip resorts, although it has not publicly shared which one.

“We will take advantage of the opportunity we have to get that very full first look to see what possible advantages the addition of another asset could have,” Pitoniak said.

Vici, a real estate investment trust affiliated with Caesars Entertainment Corp. that was launched in 2017, acquired the real estate of the The Venetian, Palazzo and The Venetian Expo in a deal that closed Wednesday, while Apollo Global Management took over as the new operator of the properties.

Vici’s pending $17.2 billion acquisition of MGM Resorts International’s landlord spinoff MGM Growth Properties remains on track to close in the first half of this year, according to the company. Once it closes, the deal will make Vici the largest casino landlord in Las Vegas.

Vici on Thursday reported net income of $283.8 million on $383.2 million in revenues for the fourth quarter of 2021 that ended on Dec. 31. That compares with $290.4 million income on $373 million in revenues from the same period in 2020. Vici shares closed up 0.87 percent Thursday at $30 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Vici President and Chief Operating Officer John Payne said that there are also other gaming markets “where we’d like to own real estate.”

Payne noted how well the regional and local casinos in Las Vegas performed during the COVID-19 pandemic. And he praised the changes to downtown Las Vegas’ gaming market, specifically highlighting the addition of Circa, and added that “there is an opportunity on real estate in the downtown Las Vegas market.”

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Dr. Miriam Adelson, the majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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