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Rhode Island gaming company seeks to acquire Dover Downs Hotel & Casino

Delaware Public Media

Dover Downs Hotel and Casino could be under new ownership soon.

Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment and Twin River Worldwide Holdings, a Rhode Island-based gambling company, have entered into a merger agreement.

Twin River, currently a privately held company, will become publicly traded as part of the deal.

Once that happens, the agreement calls for Dover Downs stock to be exchanged for Twin River shares representing 7.2 percent of the equity in the combined company at the deal’s closing.

The merger comes just weeks after First State lawmakers approved $17 million in casino relief for Dover Downs and the state’s other two casinos.  That legislation gives the casinos an additional one percent of slot revenue take. It also suspends the table gaming license fee and cuts the state’s share of table game revenue by about 14 percent.

The deal with Twin River must be approved by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and state agencies in Delaware and Rhode Island. Dover Downs shareholders also need to sign off before it’s completed.

Dover Downs Hotel is the state’s largest hotel with 500 rooms, along with its casino, sports book, restaurants, spa, concert hall and convention space.

Twin River currently has two casinos in Rhode Island and another in Biloxi, Mississippi. It also has a horse track in Aurora, Colorado.

The proposed merger will not affect Dover Motorsports, which operates Dover International Speedway and hosts the Firefly Festival on the same property as the hotel and casino..

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.
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