MGM MIRAGE (NYSE: MGG) announced today
that it has engaged in discussions to acquire Emerald Casino, Inc. in a merger
transaction. Before proceeding any further, MGM MIRAGE has intended to seek
the views of the Illinois Gaming Board. A meeting has been requested for a
time convenient to the Board.
Emerald is seeking to develop a casino project in Rosemont, Illinois in
the greater Chicago area. Any agreement by MGM MIRAGE to acquire Emerald
would be conditioned upon the approval of the Illinois Gaming Board. In
addition, any such transaction would comply with the Illinois requirement that
a 20% interest in Emerald be owned by minorities and women. Any transaction
would make provision for Emerald`s present women and minority stockholders to
be stockholders of the company going forward subject to review and approval of
such participation by the Illinois Gaming Board.
Finally, any agreement would require amending Emerald`s existing lease and
development agreement with the Village of Rosemont to, among other items,
eliminate any requirements by the Village to retain specific contractors or
“We are certainly aware that the Emerald project has been a matter of
significant concern in Illinois,” said Terry Lanni, Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer of MGM MIRAGE. “We look forward to further consulting with
the Administrator of the Illinois Gaming Board and to consulting with the
Board itself concerning our interest in Emerald. We pride ourselves on a
history of working closely and constructively with regulatory bodies on three
continents and hope to earn the trust and confidence of the Illinois Gaming
Board in this process.
“The Chicagoland market represents an excellent opportunity for MGM MIRAGE
to make a significant contribution to the economy of greater Chicago and
Illinois and to grow in a market of strategic importance,” said Mr. Lanni.