New England softens as Twin River receives Dover Downs boost

Twin River Worldwide Holdings has hailed the impacts of its recently acquired Dover Downs Gaming and Entertainment entity, as the firm reports softness in the New England market and addresses new competition impacting Rhode Island operations.

Revenue for the second quarter of 2019 increased 29.2 per cent to $143.2m from $110.8m, principally driven by the effects of the Dover Downs acquisition, which exceeded expectations and contributed $25.8m, as well as incremental increases at the Tiverton Casino Hotel property.

Reporting a softness in the overall New England market throughout the second quarter of 2019, Twin River attributed the performance to a challenging comparable period in 2018.

This is said to come from pent up demand due to poor weather in the first quarter of the prior year, as well as the likely impact of decreased tax refund dollars in the current year as a result of federal tax legislation changes.

The company has also seen its Rhode Island segment, comprising the duo of its flagship Twin River Casino and Tiverton entity, receive a hit courtesy of the grand opening of Wynn Resorts’ $2.6bn Encore Boston Harbor

Commenting on the impact George Papanier, president and CEO, stated: “The new competition had a greater than expected negative impact on our table games at Lincoln in July 2019, while our slots performance for the same period was in line with expectations given the seasonal weakness that we noted earlier that impacted the second quarter. 

“Table games revenues decreased by approximately $3.9m, or 34 per cent, to $7.6m when compared to July 2018, while our slots NTI decreased approximately $6.4m, or 17 per cent, to $32.2m compared to July 2018. We are pleased with the lack of impact we have experienced at Tiverton where gaming volumes in July were relatively flat to our recent monthly run-rate which we view as a positive. 

“When we conceived and planned the Tiverton property, the expectation was for it to offset the impact of new competition so that operating income in the market would be flat to Lincoln alone. We are revising our expectations for combined operating income to be lower by approximately 10 per cent from those expectation levels.” 

Overall gaming revenue during Q2 rose 21.8 per cent to $100.2m, an $18m increase, with adjusted EBITDA also up as it reached $47.7m, up 7.1 per cent from $44.2m, however net income decreased 15.4 per cent from $20.3m to $17.1m.

“We are pleased with the company’s results in the quarter as the financial performance at Dover exceeded our already high expectations, and our Rhode Island operations performed well despite some softness in the New England gaming markets in the second quarter,” added Papanier. 

“Our emphasis of focusing on in-market and out-of-market accretive growth is also proving itself in the early going, as we continue to grow prudently into a multi-state operator based in Rhode Island versus a single regional operator.”