ST. LOUIS-Isle of Capri Casinos Inc., headquartered here, has entered into an agreement to purchase Casino Aztar Caruthersville from an affiliate of Columbia Sussex Corp. The firm will pay $45 million for the property.

“In the gaming industry, there are not many opportunities to purchase a casino at an attractive price, hence our purchase,” says a spokeswoman for Isle of Capri. She could not comment further on the transaction or future plans for the casino. “At this time, we are working through the due diligence process and we will examine our plans for the property as we move through the process.”

As GSR reported, the casino was part of a $3.1-billion acquisition of Aztar Corp. and Winmar Tahoe Inc., the gaming affiliate of Fort Mitchell, KY-based Columbia Sussex Corp. Aztar Corp. had an agreement last year for Fortunes Entertainment LLC to purchase the casino but Fortunes Entertainment could not earn state licensing by a Nov. 19 deadline. Casino Aztar employs 283 people in Southeast Missouri and contributes more than $6 million in annual fees and taxes. The Missouri Gaming Commission appointed a supervisor of the property early this year.

A representative from the gaming commission could not be reached before deadline. Isle of Capri currently operates 13 casinos in locations in Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, Iowa, and Colorado. Banc of America Securities LLC is the financial advisor for Columbia Sussex Corp. for the sale.

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