Twin River to merge with Delaware casino, trade publicly

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Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc., owner of the Rhode Island casinos, has agreed to merge with Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment, owner of the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino and Dover Downs Raceway in Delaware.

Both companies announced the deal Sunday and discussed it in a conference call Monday.

The proposed transaction will transform privately held Twin River into a publicly traded company while expanding its U.S. footprint. In addition to owning and managing Twin River Casino in Lincoln and the soon-to-open Twin River Tiverton Casino Hotel, the company owns and manages the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi, Miss., as well as Arapahoe Park in Aurora, Colo., a horse racetrack that owns 13 off-track-betting licenses.

Twin River’s Newport Grand Casino is scheduled to close in late August, with its license transferring to Twin River Tiverton, which is set to open Sept. 1.

The Lincoln and Tiverton facilities expect to introduce sports betting this fall, a Twin River spokeswoman said Monday.

In the proposed merger, Dover Downs stockholders will exchange their Dover Downs stock for Twin River common shares representing 7.225% of the equity in the combined company at closing. Twin River Worldwide Holdings will be the parent company.

As a condition of the closing, Twin River will register its shares with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and list them on the New York or NASDAQ exchanges.

In the fiscal year that ended Dec. 31, 2017, Twin River Holdings reported net revenue of $428.8 million.

Dover Downs Hotel & Casino has reported annual losses in two of the last four years and had long sought a tax break that the Delaware state legislature recently approved.

“Becoming part of Twin River is transformational for us,” Denis McGlynn, Dover Downs’ president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We have been impressed with the depth and talent of the Twin River organization and their operational capabilities. We believe this transaction will help us grow our business, invest in our people and our facilities and compete more effectively given changes in gaming on the horizon.”

John Taylor Jr., the Twin River executive chairman, cited Dover Downs’ experience “not only in brick and mortar casino operations, but in sports betting, which we think will be helpful as we introduce that amenity at our properties, and in the online gaming sector which continues to evolve nationwide.”

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

 

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