Twin River receives approval for “accelerated investment” for Bally’s AC

Atlantic City’s least lucrative casino, Bally’s, will soon have a new operator as well as a new look after on Thursday the New Jersey Casino Control Commission gave the nod to gaming company Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE: TRWH).

According to the Associated Press, the Rhode Island-based company received approval from the state’s gambling regulators to quickly invest in renovations and repairs and to operate the Boardwalk property upon finalization of the $25 million sale in approximately two weeks.

Accelerated investment:

Commission Chairman James Plousis said…

“I am pleased to hear that Twin River is committed to Bally’s success and is committed to making the necessary financial commitments toward that goal.”

Commissioner Alisa Cooper added, “This once-grand property will be restored, renovated and upgraded to become an integral and competitive part of the gaming industry in Atlantic City.”

At least $75 million of Twin River’s planned $90 million investment earmarked for renovations and repairs, said the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, should be spent within three years.

Deputy Attorney General Camila Mendes-Ferreira reportedly said during the hearing on Thursday that the accelerated investment is needed to make quick work of improving conditions at the casino resort and keep it competitive in the iconic Boardwalk city’s market as the sort of “first-class facility” state law requires.

Lagging revenue:

According to the source, the Providence-headquartered company has said it plans to renovate hotel rooms, while restaurants, entertainment venues and pool and spa will be upgraded. The famous property, which opened on December 29, 1979, and once was at the top of Atlantic City’s gambling market, will also see critical infrastructure replaced or repaired.

The once-lucrative property has seen better days, currently ranking dead last among the city’s nine casinos in terms of game yield or revenue won from gamblers. Bally’s nearly $72 million win from January through September this year, pales in comparison to Hotel Casino & Spa’s $373 million take for the same nine-month period, as reported by the AP.

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New identity:

Last month, Bally’s new owner, which American hedge fund Standard General holds a 39 percent stake in, purchased the worldwide rights to the Bally’s name for $20 million from Caesars Entertainment Corp. Chaired by 45-year-old hedge-fund investor Soo Kim, Twin River Worldwide Holdings will now reportedly use the name to rebrand every one of its eleven casinos in six American states, as well as its publicly traded headquarters.

7BALL The name change to Bally’s Corporation is to take effect on November 9, 2020, while the company’s common stock will commence trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the new ticker symbol “BALY” when trading opens on the same day.

FanDuel partnership:

The approval from New Jersey gambling regulators is on the heels of a joint announcement from online sports betting company FanDuel Group and Twin River communicating plans for the debut of a retail FanDuel Sportsbook inside Bally’s Atlantic City by the end of the year. The planned sportsbook is the result of a partnership that began between the two companies in May with the launch of the FanDuel Sportsbook online and mobile experience in Colorado.