Twin River pays $180m for three Caesars, Eldorado casinos


twin-river-buys-eldorado-caesars-casinos-ballys-atlantic-cityUS casino operator Twin River Worldwide Holdings (TRWH) has acquired three casinos from rivals Caesars Entertainment and Eldorado Resorts, including Bally’s Atlantic City.

On Friday, TRWH announced that it had come to terms with Eldorado to acquire the latter firm’s Eldorado Shreveport Resort and Casino in Shreveport, Louisiana and the Mont Bleu Resort Casino & Spa in Lake Tahoe, Nevada for an aggregate purchase price of $155 million.

Eldorado previously agreed to sell the Mont Bleu and Shreveport casinos to regional rival Maverick Gaming but Eldorado said Friday that it had “terminated” these deals and returned Maverick’s deposits. Maverick has yet to comment on Eldorado’s fickle nature.

TRWH also announced that it was picking up Bally’s Atlantic City from Caesars – and its real estate investment trust Vici Properties – for a mere $25m, reflecting Bally’s status as the revenue cellar dweller among AC’s nine brick-and-mortar casinos. Bally’s struggles led Caesars to consider shutting the venue back in 2014, the year in which AC’s then-12 casinos shrunk to just eight.

TRWH plans to fund the deals through a combo of ready cash and “the expected upsizing” of its existing credit facility. The Bally’s deal is expected to close by year’s end while the Eldorado transaction will follow in the first half of 2021, pending regulatory approvals and financing moves.

The deals will expand TRWH’s geographic reach to eight states, following 2019’s merger with Dover Downs Hotel & Casino and more recent deals for casinos in Colorado and two other Eldorado properties in Mississippi and Missouri.

TRWH CEO George Papanier said Friday’s deals represented “a unique opportunity to continue executing on our expansion and diversification strategy at attractive valuation multiples,” while chairman Soo Kim said the company would be “stronger than ever” following this “great deal.”

The imminent merger of Caesars and Eldorado has put both regulatory and financial pressure on the companies to trim their property portfolios. Counting Bally’s, Caesars operates three properties in AC while Eldorado runs the Tropicana. The companies recently insisted that the COVID-19 pandemic might delay the merger but it won’t stop it.