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May 25, 2019

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Judge approves Black Gaming bankruptcy plan

Mesquite

Leila Navidi

The Casablanca in Mesquite was one of three gaming resorts owned by Black Gaming.

Mesquite casino operator Black Gaming LLC’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan was approved today by Judge Bruce Markell.

With the recession pounding the drive-in gaming business in the city 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, the reorganization was needed when Black Gaming was unable to service its debt and liabilities of $253.4 million. The going concern "enterprise value" of Black Gaming and its subsidiaries was estimated during the bankruptcy case at between just $85 million to $90 million.

“We are extremely pleased with the court’s decision, which clears the way for us to complete our debt restructuring,” Robert R. Black Sr., CEO of Black Gaming, said in a statement. “The plan confirmed today allows us to reduce our debt by more than $143 million and emerge with a more manageable capital structure.

"Many other gaming companies who have found themselves in similar situations to that of Black Gaming continue to work toward what we have achieved today. It is a testament to the work of our employees, advisors, partners and creditors’ hard work and commitment during this process. Through their collective efforts, Black Gaming will become a stronger organization better positioned to provide our guest the best entertainment value for their dollar.”

Black Gaming reached an agreement on the key terms of the plan with certain creditor groups prior to filing for Chapter 11 protection on March 1.

Under the terms of the confirmed plan:

* The company’s $14.8 million Senior Credit Facility with Wells Fargo Foothill Inc. will be paid in full.

* The company’s Senior Secured Noteholders owed $143 million will exchange their notes and claims for a new credit facility of $62.5 million.

* The Company’s Senior Subordinated Noteholders will receive warrants to purchase equity interests in Reorganized Black Gaming in exchange for their notes and claims.

* General unsecured claims, including vendors, will be paid in cash to the extent permitted by the bankruptcy code.

* Black Gaming executive Anthony Toti, Newport Global Advisors or one of its affiliates, Robert R. Black Sr. and one or more parties to be designated by South Point owner Michael Gaughan will contribute more than $18.25 million in exchange for 100 percent of the new equity interests in the reorganized company.

* Robert R. Black Sr. will remain chief executive officer; Anthony Toti will remain chief operating officer; and Sean P. McKay will remain chief financial officer.

Attorneys for the unsecured noteholders owed $75 million had considered filing an objection to the reorganization plan, and were reviewing the plan and valuations of the assets in the case. But their deadline to do so came and went last week with no objection being filed. Black Gaming also overcame what turned out to be minor objections filed by the U.S. Trustee’s office in the case.

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