Bally’s Rising in The Gambling Industry

Bally’s continues to move quickly and add more to its portfolio. So much so that we had to update this previous post with guest commentary by Dr. David Schwartz. The previously known Twin River Worldwide Holdings is now Bally’s Corporation. The new Bally’s is Rising in the Gambling Industry. Another post will include more expansion news along with Bally’s rebranding of its properties tomorrow.

Related PostBally’s Is Rebranding and Expanding

How It All Started

In 1989, the then Lincoln Greyhound Park was mired in a downward spiral in the Greyhound Racing industry. Twin River Casino’s inevitable owners bought the dog track after the state approved pari-mutual and VLT machine gaming. After a $220-million expansion, Lincoln Park was renamed Twin River in 2007. As they say, the rest is history:

  • 2014 – Bought the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi in Biloxi, Mississippi.
  • March 2019 – Completed a reverse merger with Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment, the parent company of Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. The transaction made Twin River a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • 2015 – Purchased Rhode Island’s only other casino, the Newport Grand, for $22 million and announced plans to move its operations to a new facility to be built in Tiverton. The Newport Grand closed in 2018, and its replacement, the $140-million Tiverton Casino Hotel, opened days later.
  • July 2019 – Agreed to buy two casinos in Missouri and Mississippi (Isle of Capri Casino Kansas City and Lady Luck Casino Vicksburg) from Eldorado Resorts for $230 million.
  • January 2020 – Twin River purchased three casinos in Black Hawk, Colorado (the Golden Gates, Golden Gulch, and Mardi Gras) from Affinity Gaming for $51 million.

The new Bally's is Rising in the Gambling Industry.
Property map for Twin River Worldwide Holdings as of January 2020

Huge Acquisition – Three Properties

From the country’s smallest state, a growing casino company bought Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino from Caesars Entertainment for $25 million. It also added Eldorado Shreveport Resort and Casino and the Mont Bleu Resort Casino & Spa in Lake Tahoe from Eldorado Resorts for a combined $155 million.

The three properties combined contain 3,318 slots, 2,092 hotel rooms, and 176 tables. In addition, Eldorado Shreveport Resort and Casino add 6,000 square feet of convention space. The move expanded Twin River Worldwide Holdings’ footprint into three additional states. The company already owned and operated eight properties.

Purchasing Bally’s Atlantic City

Opened in 1979, Bally’s Atlantic City is one of the oldest casinos in New Jersey. It has over 1,200 hotel rooms and 127,000 square feet of gambling space. A big plus is that it is in the heart of the Atlantic City casino district.

“Since its 1979 opening, Bally’s has seen ups and downs. [Once] one of the city’s top revenue-producing casinos, in recent years Bally’s has moved to the bottom of the Caesars portfolio. A new owner and focus might bring the resort back to its former prominence.”

Dr. David Schwartz in his post: Twin River Worldwide Stepping It Up 
The new Bally's is Rising in the Gambling Industry.
Ballys Hotel Tower in Background, Wild, Wild West in the foreground

Caesars Keeps Wild, Wild West

An interesting footnote to this acquisition is that Caesars Entertainment retains Bally’s two most profitable parts. The Book, a sports betting facility and entertainment center on which the company spent $8.4 million last summer, and the Wild Wild West, an area adjacent to the sportsbook. Those facilities will now become part of Caesars Casino, next door to Bally’s on the Boardwalk.

Meanwhile, Bally’s did not coordinate with Twin River’s Rewards Club or its legal sports betting operation. The Twin River Sports Book and mobile betting are run by the Rhode Island Lottery and powered by William Hill. Rhode Island was New England’s first state to offer legal sports betting.

William Hill runs sports books in nine states and is also at Ocean Resort Casino and Tropicana Resort Casino on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City.

Why All The Additions?The new Bally’s is Rising in the Gambling Industry.

Plainridge Park & Raceway, ten minutes away in Plainville, and Encore Boston Harbor outside Boston directly influence Twin River Casino. They needed to expand their brand, which influenced buying these properties. In addition, taking advantage of Eldorado’s fire sale of specific Caesars Entertainment properties would boost the sagging revenue from its Rhode Island Properties.

Soo Kim, chairman of the company’s board of directors, said, “This is a great deal for Twin River and diversifies our business across eight states. It reaffirms our commitment to employees, customers, and the communities we operate that Twin River will be stronger than ever.”

Twin River Worldwide Steps It Up

Dr. David Schwartz is an author at Comped Travel and of many fabulous gambling books, such as “Roll the Bones” and “Grandissimo.” 

In his recent article, he agrees that these boost the holdings. It also gives Bally’s a presence in three major casino markets as the new Bally’s is Rising in the Gambling Industry.

George PapanierTwin River Worldwide Holdings President and CEO was quoted in Dr. Dave’s article as saying, “…each of the properties has tremendous upside….the fact [is] that these properties each brought something unique to our portfolio. These were opportunities presented to us at different times in 2019.”

Papanier says, “If you look at the other properties in our portfolio, we have a proven history of improving locations. So we are confident that players will also see the same improvements at these properties.”

The Draw – The Final Word by Dr. David Schwartz

“Players at all three new Twin River (Bally’s) casinos, then, have many reasons to give these properties another look. Likely not the last acquisitions of an industry going through unprecedented changes, they nevertheless will change the competitive landscape in their respective markets.”

Dr. Schwartz.

I couldn’t have said it any better.