No, Bally’s didn’t buy itself

Bally’s Corporation announced on Wednesday that it has completed its acquisition of Bally’s Atlantic City from Caesars Entertainment. The two companies previously agreed to the $25 million (yes, only $25 million) deal in April.

If it sounds strange that Bally’s has acquired Bally’s, don’t worry. Bally’s was very recently called Twin River Worldwide Holdings. Caesars owned the famed Bally’s brand, but last month, Twin River bought the brand from Caesars for $20 million. Less than two weeks ago, Twin River completely rebranded itself to Bally’s, including changing its stock ticker symbol to BALY.

Caesars still owns Bally’s Las Vegas, but was able to keep the name of that specific property in the deal with Twin River.

“We strongly believe in the potential of the Atlantic City market and are confident that we can restore Bally’s to its former glory,” said George Papanier, president and chief executive officer of Bally’s Corporation, in a press release.

Lots of casinos changing hands

When Caesars and Eldorado Resorts agreed to their gigantic merger, they were required to shed some properties to stay on the right side of regulators in some states. Twin Rivers/Bally’s purchase of Bally’s Atlantic City from Caesars was not a requirement of New Jersey regulators, but it certainly seemed like a strategic sale ahead of the merger.

With the merger, the new Caesars operated four casinos in Atlantic City: Tropicana (Eldorado), Harrah’s (Caesars), Caesars, and Bally’s. The deal with Twin River/Bally’s was already in place for the Bally’s casino, so it knocked the total down to three. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission did require Caesars to put $400 million in a trust for investment in the three remaining casinos. If the Bally’s deal didn’t go through (obviously, it did), it would have to put another $125 million in the trust.

But speaking of Caesars and Eldorado getting rid of casinos to satisfy regulators, Twin River/Bally’s was able to take advantage of the situation. In April, at the same time it bought Bally’s Atlantic City, it acquired Eldorado Shreveport Resort and Casino in Louisiana and the Mont Bleu Resort Casino & Spa in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, both from Eldorado Resorts, for a combined $155 million.

Then, in July, the company picked up two more casinos from Eldorado, Isle of Capri Casino in Kansas City, Missouri and the Lady Luck Casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi, for $230 million.

The expansion wasn’t done there. In October, Twin River/Bally’s acquired Jumer’s Casino & Hotel in Rock Island, Illinois from Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment. It marked the company’s first entry in the Illinois market.

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