Isle of Capri to buy Rainbow Casino in Vicksburg - - Jackson, MS

Isle of Capri to buy Rainbow Casino in Vicksburg

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VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. will buy the Rainbow Casino in Vicksburg, Miss., for $80 million.

The acquisition of Rainbow from Bally Technologies Inc. still needs regulatory approval, but will mark Bally's exit from casino ownership as it tries to focus on its gaming technology.

Bally, based in Las Vegas, has operated Rainbow since July 1994.

Rainbow has about 350 employees, 25,000 square feet of gaming space, 831 slot machines, 10 table games and an 89-room hotel.

The board of directors for each company approved the agreement, calls for an all-cash transaction, assuming the deal closes by June 30.

"All I can really say at this point is we're excited to become a part of the Isle of Capri family," Rainbow spokesman Mickey Fedell said Tuesday.

Bally Chief Executive Officer Richard Haddrill said in a news release Monday that the company was successful with Rainbow in a competitive market.

"But we felt it was important that we focus on our core business of providing industry-leading games and systems technology, and we feel confident that under the ownership of Isle of Capri, Rainbow and its employees will be in very competent hands," Haddrill said.

The Isle of Capri opened the first Vicksburg casino by docking a boat and a barge in August 1993.

Over the next several months, it was joined by Harrah's, Ameristar and Rainbow.

Gradually, Isle of Capri added a permanent casino structure and hotel.

In February 2006, the Isle sold its Vicksburg holdings to privately held Legends Gaming, which changed the casino's name to DiamondJacks and has operated it since.

The deal, which included the company's property in Bossier City, La., was for $240 million cash.

The Isle closed its casino in Tunica County, Miss., in 2002.

The company has casinos in Biloxi, Natchez and Lula, Miss. Bally has a casino in Tunica County.

James B. Perry, chairman and chief executive officer of the Isle of Capri Casinos, said the deal "creates a mutually beneficial situation for Isle of Capri and for Bally Technologies and allows both of our companies to focus on what we do best."

Separately Monday, Isle of Capri said Bally would install its gaming systems at all its facilities.

Based in St. Louis, Isle of Capri operates 15 casinos in six states under four brands.

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