Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware no longer operates a poker room, local news outlet Delaware State News reported Saturday.
The property closed its poker room, located on its third floor, last week and moved poker tables to the casino floor. This means, that while the casino complex no longer has a poker room, players can still play poker games.
The move comes shortly after the property’s owner – Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment – completed a planned merger with Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc.
A spokesperson for the merged entity initially denied that the poker room would be shut down. Another spokesperson later on confirmed multiple reports that the casino would no longer feature a designated poker room and that its poker tables would be relocated to the main gaming floor.
Commenting on the matter, Nicholas Polcino Jr., the new Dover Downs Vice President and General Manager, said in a Friday statement that the property’s poker tables now “answer to table games and no longer operate as a separate entity.” The casino official added that beside the property’s Poker Director, “all other personnel that could be transferred to table games were transferred.”
The employees whose experience only included poker were offered the opportunity to learn other table games in order to be able to transfer between various games, if they feel inclined to do so, it also became known.
The Twin River, Dover Downs Merger
Twin River and Dover Downs announced plans to merge their casino operations last July. The deal saw Twin River, which operates casinos in Rhode Island and Mississippi, and a horse race track in Colorado, become a publicly listed company. The combined entity now runs Delaware’s only public corporate gambling venue.
After gaining regulatory approval as well as approval from shareholders, the deal was finalized this past March. The merger involved Twin River adding Dover Downs to its portfolio of properties. The hotel and casino complex features a 500-room hotel, a casino with 2,200 slot machines and a number of table games. The property also includes a freshly expanded race and sportsbook that takes single-game bets on professional and college sports events.
Twin River and Dover Downs announced their combination just weeks after Delaware lawmakers gave the nod to proposed tax relief for the state’s three operating casinos. The tax relief involved lowering Delaware’s share of slot machine revenue to 42.5% or 41.5%, depending on how much a casino generates in gaming revenue, as well as halving table games tax to roughly 15% a year.
Owners of the state’s three casinos have long sought tax relief to protect jobs and tax revenue annually contributed to the state.
Dover Downs alone lost money in two of the past five years. The property recorded net profit of $30,000 last year.
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