Article  |  Volume 2

Has the Time for Large Gaming Property Involved REITs Finally Arrived?: A Review of the Potential for REIT Investment in Destination Gaming Resort Properties

by Simon Johnson

Destination gaming resorts demand massive amounts of capital in order to fund their investment in real property, much of which comprises areas where they realize predominantly passive business, including the hotel tower. Consequently, they generate substantial income from passive business, such as fees for hotel occupancy, even as most of their income is attributable to active business, such as gaming and personal services. Because they blend separable passive and active real property, a REIT can theoretically acquire all or some of the real property, realizing income under an operator lease with a substantially unrelated gaming or hotel lessee. Alternatively, a REIT can acquire only the passive real property aspects, limiting itself to passive income from direct operation. Unfortunately, investment in these properties is subject to gaming property specific limits that prevent REITs from operating or leasing the hotel to its taxable subsidiaries.

2 UNLV Gaming L.J. 47 (2011)