Layoffs feared at Dover Downs after merger

DOVER — With the merger between Dover Downs and Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc. officially complete, changes appear to be in the works.

The exact nature of any workforce adjustments to be made by the Rhode Island-based company are unknown, but layoffs are believed to be among the items receiving consideration.

Twin River had little to say on the matter but did not explicitly deny there would be layoffs.

“When two companies of similar size and corporate structure merge, it’s certainly not uncommon to review the new entity for possible redundancy,” Twin River President and CEO George Papanier said in a statement Tuesday.

“That said, we are considering a variety of capital expenditures for Dover Downs and are planning to implement a long term business and investment strategy that will allow us to ultimately grow the business. We hope that growth of the Dover Downs business will result in increased employment opportunities in the state and allow the property to be a fixture of the Dover community for years to come.”

The merger between Twin River and Delaware’s only publicly traded casino was announced in July and completed Thursday after being approved by stockholders and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Formerly a privately held company, Twin River has gone public as a result of the deal, with Dover Downs’ shareholders exchanging their stock for Twin River shares.

Executives at Dover Downs said in July the agreement would stabilize the casino’s financial footing. Dover Downs has lost money in two of the last five years and made a net profit of just $30,000 in 2018.

Twin River, which operates casinos and hotels in Rhode Island and Mississippi and a horse track in Colorado, had a net income of about $71.4 million last year.

The deal includes Dover Downs’ 500-room hotel and banquet hall, although not Dover International Speedway. The speedway remains owned by Dover Motorsports, which split off from the gaming company in 2002.

While Denis McGlynn will continue to serve as president and CEO of Dover Motorsports, he will no longer be president and CEO of Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment — until recently the casino’s parent company.

Several members of Dover Downs’ senior management team have retired following the merger, including President and CEO Ed Sutor, Vice President of Human Resources Janie Libby and Vice President of Horse Racing Charles Lockhart.

Asked last week about pay cuts, which are rumored to be in the works for the casino, Mr. McGlynn said he was not aware of any.

At the end of 2018, Dover Downs had 1,388 employees, 906 of whom were full-time.

Staff writer Matt Bittle can be reached at 741-8250 or mbittle@newszap.com. Follow @MatthewCBittle on Twitter.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment