New Owner, But Bally’s Name Staying Put On Atlantic City Boardwalk

Written By Bill Gelman on October 13, 2020 - Last Updated on December 30, 2020

The guessing game regarding the future name of Bally’s Atlantic City is officially over.

Throw out the piece of paper with those creative names. The iconic gaming brand is not being removed from the building anytime soon.

Twin River Worldwide Holdings, which is in the process of completing the purchase of the 40-year-old property from Caesars Entertainment, is purchasing the Bally’s name.

The Rhode Island-based company announced today via press release that it has purchased the Bally’s brand previously owned by Caesars. But this deal extends far beyond the AC market, as the agreement enables Twin River to rebrand virtually all of its portfolio properties under the Bally’s name and logo.

This is a very big deal, as there are only two casinos nationwide currently using the Bally’s name. One is in AC, and the other is on the Las Vegas Strip.

Caesars Entertainment is maintaining ownership of the latter property, as Twin River will provide a perpetual license to continue using the Bally’s name.

The release does not include the financial terms of the agreement.

Bally’s is a brand Atlantic City customers know

Since announcing the purchase agreement earlier this year, Twin River shared some details regarding plans to put Bally’s back into the Atlantic City spotlight.

And the property desperately needs some TLC, especially on the gaming side.

In terms of monthly casino win, the property has earned $58.1 million year to date, which ranks eighth among the nine license holders. Golden Nugget has reported $56.2 million in land-based revenue. Keep in mind that these totals have been greatly impacted by Atlantic City casinos being closed for 100-plus days.

Those familiar with Atlantic City history likely recall the days when Bally’s was the top-performing property. If Twin River makes significant capital improvements to the aging building, guests will likely be willing to give it another try.

Rolling out a new name would require putting together a brand marketing campaign that may or may not attract customers. Remember Revel?

Twin River, for its part, has experience with rebranding properties. After purchasing the Lady Luck Casino in Mississippi, the property’s name changed to Casino Vicksburg. And the former Isle of Capri Casino in Kansas City is currently known simply as Casino KC.

With that in mind, Casino AC is missing something.

And with a portfolio that currently includes nine casinos, one universal name makes the most sense.

Plus, Bally’s is a name Atlantic City visitors know well. It has been around since December 1979 and is only predated by Resorts (May 1978) and Caesars (June 1979).

So keeping the Bally’s name is a no-brainer, especially when it comes to an established gambling destination like AC.

Twin River and Caesars deal is still pending

Caesars continues to own and operate the property until the licensing and regulatory process is completed. The Casino Control Commission canceled its October meeting, which means Nov. 18 is now the earliest date a hearing could take place.

The sale is expected to be completed this year.

However, the deal is one step closer to the finish line. During the September Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) meeting, the board approved a request dividing the land lots. This means the William Hill Sportsbook at Wild Wild West and the casino floor will remain part of Caesars, while Bally’s new owner will keep the parking garage.

Twin River, of course, will not be sitting on the sidelines.

What about a Bally’s NJ sportsbook app?

Look at the current list of 18 NJ sportsbook apps.

In terms of NJ sports betting, there are a handful of AC casinos missing a self-branded sportsbook. Bally’s is one of those properties. Twin River has announced partnerships with Esports Entertainment Group and Sporttrade.

So if the company is making a significant investment in the Bally’s name, one would expect it to extend it to the online gambling side. And the platform will likely be integrated with a Bally’s online casino product.

No matter how this part of the plans unfold, the Bally’s name is a keeper at Park Place and Boardwalk.

Photo by Caesars Entertainment
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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman is a veteran sports writer based just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from the Jersey Shore. Bill spends time in Atlantic City writing about casino openings and expansions, special events and now NJ sports betting and online gambling.

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