Dover Downs rebrands as Bally’s Dover Casino Resort

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As expected, the name of Dover Downs Hotel & Casino has been changed.

Rhode Island-based Bally’s has rebranded the casino as Bally’s Dover Casino Resort.

Acquiring publicly traded Dover Downs from Rollins family interests in 2019 was part of an aggressive expansion for Bally’s.

The purchase came after the General Assembly, made concessions in what had been a revenue-sharing arrangement that had casinos running on a break-even basis.

Bally’s has made modest improvements to the Delaware casino-hotel, the most visible being new restaurants.

Bally’s officials stated that before the Covid-19 pandemic the Dover casino had been performing above expectations.

The 500-room hotel had been a challenge for the previous owner as Dover Downs became less of a destination resort as new casinos opened in the mid-Atlantic region.

As a result, Dover Downs either posted a slight loss or broke even. The casino setting also limited the ability of the property to attract church groups holding events in Dover that draw hundreds.

The gaming industry has reported a strong recovery nationwide from the pandemic as restrictions were lifted.

The expansion included acquiring the Bally’s name from casino giant Caesar’s. The company was formerly known as Twin River.

The company also acquired the Bally’s casino-resort in Atlantic City in a separate transaction. 

It is now converting casinos, which operate from the East Coast to the Lake Tahoe area in Nevada to the Bally’s brand. One exception will be Las Vegas, where Bally’s snapped up the Tropicana on the strip.

Las Vegas already has a Caesars hotel operating under the Bally’s name. However, there is speculation that Caesars could put the Bally’s casino and its next-door neighbor Paris up for sale. In addition, Caesars announced plans to put unnamed Vegas casinos on the selling block.

The goal is for Bally’s to build a national and perhaps international brand as it also adds sports betting and online gaming to its land-based offerings. In addition, it has inked deals with professional sports teams.

The rebranding is the latest change in the casino-entertainment landscape in Delaware.

Earlier, the Rollins interests sold Dover Motorsports to one of the two largest NASCAR track giants. Dover Motorsports operates the Monster Mile track at the Dover Downs-Bally’s complex and this year moved one of its two Dover NASCAR weekends to a smaller track in Nashville.

Recently much of Delaware Park was sold to a group made up of Canadian private equity investors and a long-time casino executive. The sale is subject to regulatory approval. 

The remaining casino-racetrack in the state, Harrington, remains under the majority ownership of the non-profit Delaware State Fair.

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