Bally’s Execs Dodge Buyout Question While Giving Update on Tropicana Demolition

  • Bally’s CFO said negotiations around Standard’s buyout bid were confidential
  • The operator is helping Tropicana workers with jobs fairs ahead of the closure
  • Bally’s estimates the 10-foot demolition wall around the resort will cost $500,000
Bally’s execs dodged the NGC’s question about a takeover bid while updating commissioners on the Tropicana’s April 2 closure plans. [Image:]

NGC poses question

Bally’s Corp executives have sidestepped a Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) question about the proposed buyout of the gaming giant’s shares by Standard General, Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim’s hedge fund.

he could not supply any additional details

NGC Commissioner Brian Krolicki posed the tricky question to Bally’s executives at a Thursday meeting, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Marcus Glover responded by stating “negotiations are confidential” and that he could not supply any additional details.

Glover and Senior Vice President and Western Region Manager Ameet Patel, did, however, provide some fresh information on the planned demolition of the Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, including the assistance Bally’s is giving employees to find new jobs.

Seeking updates

While Glover and Patel were before the NGC “on an unrelated matter,” Krolicki’s curiosity around the proposed takeover bid goes back to March 9. At the time, the NGC questioned Glover and Patel about the financing shortfalls their firm is experiencing in Chicago over the anticipated cost of building the city’s first casino.

According to a recent financial report by Bally’s, the casino giant only has $300m to fund the $1.1bn Chicao casino project. This has only added fuel to the fire for those already in opposition of the project, with many claiming Bally’s secured the project unfairly.

On March 11, Bally’s disclosed the buyout proposal by Kim’s New York-headquartered hedge fund in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Standard General offered to buy out the stakes in Bally’s that it doesn’t already own at $15 a share, prompting the casino operator’s shares to soar almost 30%. Despite the welcome spike, Bally’s shares have lost over 25% of their value over the past 12 months.

Shutting down Tropicana

While skirting the question around the proposed buyout, Glover and Patel were more forthcoming plans to shut down the Tropicana on April 2 to make way for the Oakland A’s new stadium.

The iconic property, which first opened its doors in 1957, will close one day short of its 67th anniversary. Bally’s will erect a 10-foot demolition wall around the Tropicana following its April 2 closedown. Bally’s expects the estimated cost of the 5,098-foot enclosure to be $500,000.

26% of the casino resort’s staff have been with the Trop “for 20 years or more”

The execs told the NGC on Thursday that many of the 700 staff employed by the Tropicana are “getting leads for new jobs from career fairs exclusively for them by gaming and nongaming companies.” The firm has also started paying tribute to its workers by posting their names on the resort’s marquee. Patel added that 26% of the casino resort’s staff have been with the Tropicana “for 20 years or more.”

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