Dover Downs Gaming shareholders OK acquisition by Rhode Island company

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Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment shareholders approved merger with Rhode Island-based Twin River Worldwide at a Tuesday morning meeting.

Theparties expect to close the transaction on March 28.

Upon completion of the merger, Dover Downs will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Twin River, and all outstanding shares of Dover Downs common stock and Class A common stock will be converted into the right to receive shares of Twin River common stock (with cash in lieu of fractional shares).

Dover Downs common stock will cease trading on, and be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange and Twin River’s common stock will be listed on the NYSE under the symbol “TRWH” and begin trading on March 29.

Dover Downs shares were trading Tuesday at about $59 a share with a stock market value of about $85.5 million. Prices, at times, have dropped below $1 a share.

Twin River owns and manages two casinos in Rhode Island and one in Mississippi, as well as a Colorado horse race track that has 13 off-track betting licenses.

Properties include Twin River Casino Hotel (Lincoln, RI), Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Biloxi, MS), Tiverton Casino Hotel (Tiverton, RI) and Arapahoe Park (Aurora, CO).

The company also announced the purchase of small casinos in the historic former mining town of Black Hawk, Colorado.

Twin Rivers’ casinos range in size from 1,100 slots and 32 table games facilities to properties with 4,200 slots and 115 table games, along with hotel and resort facilities.

Dover Downs’ gaming operations consist of approximately 2,200 slots, table games, including poker, and a newly expanded race and sports book. The property also includes a 500-room hotel that includes a concert hall and 41,500 square feet . of multi-use event space.

Harness racing is featured November through April, and horse racing is simulcast year-round. Additional property amenities include multiple restaurants.

The transaction is expected to strengthen the finances of the Dover casino-racing complex. The company has been hammered by competition from Maryland and Pennsylvania casinos and the State of Delaware taking a large chunk of its revenues.

The company, founded by the Rollins family, did not acquire Maryland or Pennsylvania gaming licenses that would have diversified its revenue base.

The state did provide modest reliefto the state’s three racinos, including Dover Downs. The relief may have been a factor in Twin River’s offer.

Not included in the transaction is Dover Motorsports, which operates a track and two yearly NASCAR weekends.

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