Dover Downs owner betting on turnaround for AC’s Bally’s

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Good afternoon,

Dover Downs’ owner is placing a bet on Atlantic City with a casino that carries its new corporate name. reports that the Bally’s next week will shut down the casino floor for 30 hours at its newly acquired Atlantic City casino-hotel while switching over to a new information technology system.

The company snapped up Atlantic City property for a bargain price in the middle of the pandemic.

Bally’s officials told New Jersey regulators it plans to spend $90 million to spiff up a 1,200-room casino in dire need of a makeover.

Over the years, Bally’s, like all boardwalk casinos in Atlantic City, struggled with stiff competition in the Mid-Atlantic as well as a wave of bankruptcies and closings. Next week, one long-vacant boardwalk eyesore, the former Trump Plaza, gets the implosion treatment.

Rhode Island-based Twin River acquired the Bally’s name from gaming giant Caesar’s so it could establish a national brand for its growing number of properties.

The company got its start by being Rhode Island’s only casino operator. When Massachusetts joined the casino frenzy, the company expanded, aided by a private equity investor with deep pockets.

When it came to Dover Downs,Bally’s did not need to make major renovations. Former owner Dover Downs Gaming kept the property in decent physical shape.

The new owner has made some changes that include a couple of new restaurants. Its high-end steakhouse and a burger joint remain closed.

It appears increasingly likely that as Bally’s works to establish a national presence, the Dover Downs name will go away. Delaware is on the national map these days, and a familiar name like Bally’s might bring in some business.

Bally’s and other casino operators see better times ahead for the industry when the vaccine rollout gains momentum. A boost could come sooner rather than later if older patrons, who have more access to the vaccine, start to venture out.

Enjoy your weekend and stay safe. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.

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