UPDATE: Magnolia Bluffs Casino sold to New York company

Published 2:29 pm Friday, April 15, 2022

NATCHEZ — Magnolia Bluffs Casino and Hotel in Natchez has been sold.

“While this was an extremely tough decision for our partnership, it will truly leave our team and valued customers in the best hands possible,” said Kevin Preston, partner and president of Magnolia Bluffs Casino and Hotel. “Due to the long history we have here in Natchez, it was important for us to ensure we found the right company that has the same values and passion we do for the community and our team members here at Magnolia Bluffs Casino and Hotel. We are confident the team at Saratoga will care just as much as we have for the community we’ve operated in for the last 11 years, as well as our team members and local businesses that have made such a tremendous impact on our operation through the years.”

“We are proud to add Magnolia Bluffs Casino and Hotel to our portfolio of gaming assets and further diversify our business,” said Sam Gerrity, chief operating officer of Saratoga Casino Holdings. “We are committed to operating first class gaming facilities, and we do that by creating lasting relationships with our guests, team members and the communities that we serve. We look forward to welcoming Magnolia Bluffs guests and team to the Saratoga family.”

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Saratoga Casino Holdings LLC owns the Saratoga Casino Hotel in Saratoga Springs, New York, and Saratoga Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado.

The sale of Magnolia Bluffs is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

“It will probably be August or September before it is finalized through gaming,” said Tony Heidelberg, a Natchez attorney and official with Natchez Casino Opco LLC, which owned Magnolia Bluffs, said.

He said the new company also purchased the name and does not anticipate that changing.

“Saratoga purchased the entire lease agreement we had with the city, so the city will not lose anything.”

Heidelberg said Louisiana Downs, which is owned by a company founded by Preston, is not involved with the Magnolia Bluffs transaction.

“Kevin has not given up on Natchez and we will be looking at other opportunities outside of gaming,” Heidelberg said.

Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson said he had mixed emotions when he was informed of the sale.

“It truly has come as a surprise. My first reaction is to be thankful to Kevin Preston and his team for all they have done to develop this property — the casino and hotel — and to provide so many jobs and economic development here in Natchez,” Gibson said. “My second thought is to be hopeful the new owner will keep all of that going. The last thing we want to see is anything that would affect those employees. My hope is all will continue on and they will be well.”

Gibson said he looks forward to meeting the new owners and working with them in any way the city can.

“We anticipate they will become valuable members of the Natchez community and look forward to that,” he said. “We also wish Mr. Preston well. Who knows? Maybe he will develop something else here. I know he loves Natchez.”

Magnolia Bluffs Casino Hotel opened in 2012 and features more than 450 slot machines, 14 table games, restaurant and bar, sportsbook and a 141-room hotel located off-site in the heart of Natchez.

Saratoga Casino Hotel in Saratoga Springs features more than 1,200 slots, electronic table games, a live entertainment venue, a variety of dining options and bars, live harness racing and simulcast wagering. Saratoga Casino Black Hawk, located in the historic town of Black Hawk, Colorado, features more than 380 slot machines, six table games, a full service restaurant and bar and a variety of guest services.

For more information about Saratoga Casino Holdings, please visit saratogacasino.com.