Twin River to Spend $90 million to upgrade Bally’s Atlantic City
Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc. has pledged to invest around $90 million to upgrade its newly acquired Bally’s Atlantic City casino.
The Rhode Island-based company committed to this important capital expenditure program on Wednesday during a public hearing before the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. The incredible amount announced will be used over the next five years to upgrade the neglected and under-performing Atlantic City casino.
Twin River appears to hope to resurrect Bally’s Atlantic City and bring back its lost glory by upgrading the 41-year-old venue and making it “more attractive and competitive” in the market.
“We want to ensure Bally’s is competitive again and return it to its glory,” said the executive vice president of strategic development and government relations for Twin River, Marc Crisafulli. He further added, “We’re committed to making it a signature property again, right at the center of the Boardwalk,” adding that the company realizes it is a time-taking process and one requiring an equal amount of effort and investment.
Twin River is seeking interim casino authorization to operate Bally’s. It’s a preliminary regulatory step ahead of full casino licensure. The Rhode Island-based casino agreed to acquire Bally’s from Caesars Entertainment Inc. and VICI Properties for $25 million. Twin River will now officially change its corporate name to Bally’s on November 9.
While discussing plans for improvements at Bally’s, Twin River’s executives highlighted several key areas, including a permanent sportsbook. The company seeks a collaboration with FanDuel to offer sports betting from March.
The other improvement plans included the renovation of more than 900 hotel rooms, building 30-40 mini-suites, besides introducing a brand-new restaurant with a bar. All this to be completed and operational by summer 2021. Hotel exterior renovations, a revamped spa and fitness center, and updated gaming products are also on Twin River’s agenda.
The Executive vice president and chief financial officer for Twin River, Stephan Capp, said that the company is planning to bring things to the newly acquired property that will lead to growth and revenue.
But what if the reintroduced Bally’s hurts existing operators in Atlantic City? Twin River assures it won’t happen. CEO and President George Papanier said that the company would use its existing customer database. The company is reliant on roughly 16 million customers from New England and the Delaware/Maryland/Virginia regions to expand the market.
Twin River CEO assured that the company absolutely believes in expanding its market without cannibalizing each other.
Bally’s Time to Revive
Before Twin River decided to purchase Bally’s, the casino, once among the highest-performing casinos in Atlantic City, had fallen into decay and neglect. Since 2016, Bally’s had been mostly at the bottom of land-based gaming revenue in the market.
Bally’s was the third Atlantic City casino to launch in 1979. Once the market leader, it now ranks at the bottom among the nine Atlantic City casinos in terms of revenues. For the period between January to September 2020, Bally’s reported a win of $72 million in comparison to Atlantic City’s leading casino, the Borgata, which reported a $373 million win over the same period.
However, Twin River is optimistic about Bally’s future and is ready to pick up the gauntlet. “We plan to bring it physically to a level not seen in years,” Papanier said. “We aren’t going there (to Atlantic City) to be embarrassed.”
Twin River originally planned to inject $56 million in Bally’s but announced an increase to $90 million on Wednesday following the hearing. According to Twin River’s Chief Finance Officer Stephen Capp, the company has around a half-a-billion dollar’s worth of liquidity to draw upon.