Caesars Entertainment and Eldorado Resorts are working on a merger where the two companies will come together to form one large company. The merger is close to completion and in the process, both companies have been offloading properties. Just recently, Caesars Entertainment Corporation agreed to sell the Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino to a company based in Rhode Island. Bally’s will now be owned by Twin River Worldwide Holdings, after $25 million was spent in a cash offer. Twin River is now looking to the future, ready to get started in the online gambling industry in the Garden State.
With the new deal, Caesars will receive only $6 million for the Bally’s sale while their real estate investment trust VICI Properties will be taking $19 million. The deal is subject to regulatory approval on a federal and state level. The sale of the property was needed in order for Eldorado and Caesars to continue with their merger.
Twin River has been quite busy, having acquired two casinos from Eldorado, one in Nevada and the other in Louisiana. The company will now own the MontBleu Resort Casino located in Lake Tahoe and the Eldorado Shreveport in Louisiana. The company already owns and operates two casinos in Rhode Island as well as one in Mississippi and Delaware, among other properties.
Twin River is a well-established gaming company, but they do not have any experience in the online casino realm. They do have deals in Colorado with FanDuel and DraftKings that involve sports betting and they look to offer online sports betting in New Jersey in the future, in retail as well. They also look forward to launching online casino gaming.
The Bally deal includes a license to build out a retail sportsbook along with launching online sports betting and casino gaming. Twin River is getting started at a good time with iGaming as players are confined at home due to the coronavirus. New Jersey has already seen an increase in player traffic during the past few weeks just due to self-isolation of players.
For Bally’s the brand does need a turnround. In 2019, they came in dead last when it came to revenues earned. Last year, the casino earned $176 million. This was the lowest of all the nine casinos in Atlantic City. Revenues were down last year just over 7% when compared to the $190.3 million earned the previous year.
Bally’s AC does do well in the sports betting sector, having hit the fourth spot among the nine casinos in the region when considering earnings.
It will be interesting to see what Twin River does to the property and what they bring to the table once the venue is reopened. As of right now, there is no set date for New Jersey gaming venues to be back in action. Over the next few days, we should see an official statement from the government as to how much longer the state shutdown order will remain in effect.
In the meantime, Twin River will have plenty of time to revamp the property if they so choose. The shutdown will provide a good time frame in which changes could be made. It will also be interesting to see how long it takes for Twin River go online with Bally’s, if it will be rather quickly or a more thought out approach.