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Bally's Atlantic City sold to Twin River Worldwide Holdings
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Bally's Atlantic City sold to Twin River Worldwide Holdings

Bally's Atlantic City

ATLANTIC CITY — Caesars Entertainment Corp. and VICI Properties announced the sale of Bally’s Atlantic City to Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc. for $25 million Friday morning.

VICI will receive almost $19 million from the sale, while Caesars will net roughly $6 million, according to a news release from the two companies. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions.

Twin River also acquired two additional casinos from Eldorado Resorts Inc., the parent company of Tropicana Atlantic City that is finalizing a $17.3 billion merger with Caesars.

The size and scope of the Eldorado-Caesars deal created certain regulatory challenges in multiple jurisdictions, including New Jersey, where state gaming officials had to consider whether the newly formed company operating four of Atlantic City’s nine casinos created an undue economic concentration.

Dan Heneghan, a gaming industry consultant and retired communications director for the Casino Control Commission, said the sale of Bally’s would “significantly improve the odds” of New Jersey regulators approving the Eldorado-Caesars merger. The sale would bring a new operator into the market and increase regional competition, he added.

“The state is supposed to prevent undue economic concentration and encourage competition, and (the sale of Bally’s) certainly accomplishes both,” Heneghan said.

The sale of Bally’s was not related to the coronavirus pandemic that has caused gaming, hospitality and entertainment operations all over the world to shut down. A regional spokesperson said the Bally’s sale “is a strategic initiative that Caesars Entertainment had been pursuing long before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Bally’s, which first opened in 1979, will continue to be part of the Caesars Rewards network until the deal is finalized. The Associated Press reports the deal is due to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

“We look forward to the reopening of Bally’s Atlantic City as soon as appropriate once the public health emergency related to COVID-19 has passed,” said Tony Rodio, CEO of Caesars Entertainment. “We appreciate Twin River’s commitment to this property, which has a great future ahead under its stewardship.”

The Wild Wild West Casino and The Book sports wagering facility will be shifted over to Caesars Atlantic City.

Twin River will obtain a license to “build out a sportsbook” in addition to launching online sports betting and internet casino gaming, the company said in a news release.

VICI Properties is a real estate investment trust that owns more than 20 U.S. casino properties and leases them to gaming operators. The company was formed as part of the 2017 bankruptcy reorganization of Caesars Entertainment Operating Company.

“The sale of Bally’s Atlantic City demonstrates our ongoing commitment to work collaboratively with our tenants to optimize our individual businesses, even during these unprecedented times,” said John Payne, president and chief operating officer of VICI Properties.

Twin River, a Providence, Rhode Island-based gaming company that operates casinos in four states, acquired the Mont Bleu Resort Casino & Spa in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and Eldorado Shreveport Resort and Casino in Shreveport, Louisiana, from Eldorado Resorts for a combined $155 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact: 609-272-7222

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Staff Writer

I cover Atlantic City government and the casino industry since joining The Press in early 2018. I formerly worked as a politics & government reporter for NJ Herald and received the First Amendment: Art Weissman Memorial NJPA Award two years in a row.

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