Bally’s, the least profitable casino in Atlantic City, will soon have a new operator and a new look after the New Jersey Casino Control Commission gave the gaming company Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc. ( NYSE: TRWH) the nod on Thursday.
According to the Associated Press, following completion of the $25 million sale in about two weeks, the Rhode Island-based company obtained permission from the state’s gambling regulators to immediately invest in upgrades and repairs and to run the Boardwalk property.
Chairman James Plousis of the Commission 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.”
The State Division of Gaming Enforcement said that at least $75 million of the Twin River’s projected $90 million expenditure for upgrades and maintenance should be invested within three years.
During the hearing on Thursday, Deputy Attorney General Camila Mendes-Ferreira reportedly said that the accelerated investment is needed to make rapid work to boost conditions at the casino resort and keep it competitive in the market of the iconic Boardwalk city as required by the state law of” first-class facilities.”
The Providence-based company has said it wants to renovate hotel rooms, according to the source, while restaurants, entertainment venues, pool and spa will be revamped. The popular house, which opened on December 29, 1979 and once was at the top of the gambling market in Atlantic City, will also be replaced or restored by critical infrastructure.
In terms of game yield or revenue won from gamblers, the once-lucrative property has seen better days, currently ranking dead last among the city’s nine casinos. As reported by the AP, Bally’s almost $72 million win from January to September this year pales compared to Hotel Casino & Spa’s $373 million win for the same nine-month span.
Last month, Bally’s new owner, who owns a 39 percent stake in the American hedge fund Standard General, bought Caesars Entertainment Corp. ‘s global rights to the name of Bally for $20 million. Twin River Worldwide Holdings, chaired by 45-year-old hedge-fund investor Soo Kim, is now currently using the name to rebrand each of its eleven casinos in six American states, as well as its publicly traded headquarters.
The name change to Bally ‘s Corporation will take effect on November 9, 2020, while when trading opens on the same day, the company’s common stock will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the new ticker symbol “BALY”
New Jersey gambling regulator approval comes on the heels of a joint statement by online sports betting firm FanDuel Group and Twin River announcing plans to open a FanDuel Sportsbook retailer in Bally’s Atlantic City by the end of the year. The planned sportsbook is the result of a collaboration that started with the launch of the FanDuel Sportsbook online and mobile experience in Colorado between the two businesses in May.