US gaming companies Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc. and Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment Inc. announced on Sunday that they have agreed to merge their operations amid a wave of consolidation in the US land-based casino sector.
Twin River currently operates as a private company. The proposed deal will see the operator transform into a publicly traded operation with properties in Rhode Island, Mississippi, Colorado, and Delaware.
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The transaction will involve stockholders in Dover Downs exchanging their stock in the company for common shares in Twin River, which will represent around 7.225% in the combined business once their consolidation is complete, the two companies said in a joint statement Sunday.
Being a privately held operation, Twin River will have to register its shares with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and to list them on the New York Stock Exchange or the NASDAQ Stock Market.
The closure of the deal is subject to regulatory approvals and related closing conditions. It is yet to be announced when the transaction is expected to be completed.
Commenting on the Sunday announcement, Dover Downs President and CEO Denis McGlynn said that joining forces with Twin River would be transformational for his company. The executive further elaborated that the deal would help Dover Downs invest in its people and facilities, grow its business and be a more effective competitor in the changing gaming industry landscape.
Twin River Executive Chairman John E. Taylor, Jr. added that they anticipate to realize numerous benefits from the deal, as Dover Downs is experienced not just in the land-based casino field but also in sports betting. The US Supreme Court lifted earlier this year a long-standing ban on sports betting which unleashed a wave of legislative changes across individual states to allow for the provision of that type of service.
Rhode Island, one of Twin River’s main markets, legalized sports betting late last month and the company will probably take advantage of the opportunity to enter the sports betting field.
Twin River is currently building the Twin River Tiverton Casino complex in Tiverton, Rhode Island. The property is slated to open doors on September 1, a month earlier than previously scheduled. It was announced recently that the complex would be allowed to offer gambling services around the clock.
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Twin River has transferred the license of its now-shuttered Newport Grand property to operate gaming at its new property.
Consolidation Wave in the US
News about Twin River and Dover Downs joining forces arrive amid a wave of merger and acquisition deals in the US brick-and-mortar casino space. Las Vegas giant has recently received regulatory clearance and completed the acquisition of two Indiana properties in a $1.7 billion deal.
Gaming companies Penn National Gaming and Pinnacle Entertainment announced a planned $2.8-billion transaction last December and are awaiting additional regulatory approvals and closure of related conditions to complete their merger. The companies have recently received approval from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board and the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
Including the aforementioned two regulators, Penn National and Pinnacle have now received approvals from eight regulatory bodies in connection to their deal. Shareholders of both businesses approved their planned combination back in March.
It can be said that the series of merger and acquisition deals in recent years have been unleashed by companies looking to extend their geographical presence, diversify their businesses and capitalize on the legalization of brick-and-mortar casino gambling in number of states, the growing online gambling legalization buzz, and now the legalization of sports betting across multiple states.