December 1, 2021
Facade is rosy again: Can Bally's casino's future be, too?

Facade is rosy again: Can Bally’s casino’s future be, too?

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Maybe nothing symbolized the spotty efficiency of Bally’s on line casino in Atlantic Metropolis in recent times higher than the mismatched alternative home windows in its glass facade, spots of blue that stood out amid the remainder of the rose-colored glass.

Fixing that was one of many first issues Phil Juliano, govt vice chairman of the Rhode Island-based firm that purchased the on line casino a yr in the past, got down to do.

In current months, the out-of-place home windows have been changed, and the facade is now uniformly rosy.

Executives with Bally’s Corp. hope the forecast for the on line casino is rosy, too. Soohyung Kim, the corporate’s chair of the board, evaluated its efficiency in its first yr underneath new house owners.

“The jury is out, I would say,” Kim advised The Related Press. “We always knew that Atlantic City was a challenge, and so we structured the deal so that we had a lot of flexibility. It is a city that has not reinvested in itself the way it needs to.”

Bally’s, previously often called Twin River Worldwide Holdings, purchased the Atlantic Metropolis on line casino on Nov. 18 final yr as a part of an formidable acquisition spree of casinos, media and expertise corporations aimed toward placing collectively a nationwide playing, broadcasting and sports activities betting powerhouse.

It paid $25 million for the property to Caesars Leisure, and promised New Jersey playing regulators it might spend an extra $100 million on renovations over 4 to 5 years, together with badly wanted lodge room makeovers.

“We will be the most aggressive marketing company in Atlantic City, and we will prove that,” Juliano mentioned. “We also realize that the quality of your facility has to match up with that aggressive marketing.”

Work is already underneath means on new lodge rooms, a brand new foyer and bar, and a brand new high-limits room will open early subsequent month. The on line casino has opened 5 new eating places, a FanDuel sports activities e book, reconfigured the on line casino ground and introduced in new slot machines.

Other than the bodily enhancements, the acquisition provides Bally’s entry to New Jersey’s thriving web playing market and its nation-leading sports activities betting market.

Bally’s ranks final amongst Atlantic Metropolis’s 9 casinos by way of playing income to date this yr. Over the primary 10 months of 2021, Bally’s has received $120 million, up from the $83 million it received over the identical interval final yr.

In distinction, the market-leading Borgata has received $914 million over that very same timeframe.

Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton College, which research the Atlantic Metropolis on line casino trade, mentioned Bally’s Corp. “has taken great steps toward revitalizing a once-thriving property that has in recent years lost some of its luster.”

“It might be some time but earlier than the property is able to run, however they’re actually strolling in the best course, with each purpose to anticipate that they’ll achieve momentum as extra of the deliberate enchancment tasks are accomplished,” she mentioned.

In interviews with the AP, clients supplied combined opinions of Bally’s efficiency over the previous yr. Some praised the brand new eating places and the favored summer season seashore bar, whereas others mentioned lodge rooms nonetheless depart a lot to be desired.

“I think Bally’s is making the right moves overall,” mentioned Jack Uniglicht of Vineland. “Their new high-limit room has great ambiance, and if they plan on remodeling the rest of the casino in the same design, it’s going to rival anything in AC. Once the rooms are redone and the rest of the resort is remodeled, I think it will be in a very competitive position.”

Wyatt Ballinger of Vineland had a special expertise final yr, calling the property “disgusting and unkempt.”

“I checked into a room with cigarettes still in the ash tray, spilled and rotten food in the fridge, then got switched to another room to have found an employee laying with in the bed with shoes on as I walked in,” he mentioned.

However probably the most generally voiced criticism was the termination of participant loyalty perks final October that had been accrued underneath the earlier possession, in favor of Bally’s personal branded loyalty program. The corporate says the swap was wanted to separate from Caesars Leisure.

Kim, the Bally’s board chair, mentioned that at a naked minimal, the property has worth from its Boardwalk actual property. However he is optimistic the on line casino will show to be a worthwhile funding.

“We’re spending cash to deliver it as much as a degree that we predict it deserves, and we predict we’ll get a return on that cash,” he mentioned.

Bally’s owns 14 casinos in Colorado, Missouri, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Nevada, and lately submitted two bids to develop a on line casino in Chicago.

“There was a time when we had bought eight of the last 10 casinos that had sold in America,” Kim mentioned. “When others are fearful, that’s often a good time to do business.”

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Comply with Wayne Parry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/WayneParryAC



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