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Twin River is quietly becoming a major player in the casino industry

Debee Tlumacki/For The Boston Globe

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If it feels like Rhode Island-based Twin River Worldwide Holdings is gobbling up casinos all around the country, it’s because it is.

The latest acquisition by the company, which owns casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton, came Tuesday when it announced that it has purchased the Tropicana Evansville casino in Indiana for $140 million.

Weeks earlier, Twin River announced it purchased the Bally’s brand from Caesars Entertainment, which could eventually result in a name change for the Rhode Island casinos, although no final decision has been made. Twin River also owns casinos in Delaware, Missouri, Mississippi, Colorado, Louisiana, Nevada, and New Jersey.

So what’s driving the buy storm?

Marc Crisafulli, Twin River’s executive vice president, said the company, which went public in March 2019, has consistently told its shareholders that it is seeking to acquire casinos that may be underinvested and have lost some of their market share.

That’s corporate speak for swooping in to scoop up struggling casinos in need of a makeover – and the market is ripe.


“There’s a reason we are able to acquire some of these properties,” Crisafulli said, pointing to Twin River’s strong cash position. The company was trading at $23.95 a share when the market closed on Tuesday.

Crisafulli said the company is particularly interested in sports betting, which is expected to see explosive growth in the next five years as more states begin to legalize it. Rhode Island launched its sportsbook nearly two years ago.

Here at home, Crisafulli said he’s hopeful that Twin River won’t be asked to shut down because of a second wave of the coronavirus, and he said he’s looking forward to the General Assembly reconvening and taking up legislation that would extend a billion-dollar lottery and casino contract for IGT and Twin River.

If the deal is approved, Twin River plans to expand in Lincoln and open a new headquarters at 225 Dyer St. in Providence (the Globe’s Rhode Island bureau also has office space in that building). “We can’t go forward until the law is passed,” Crisafulli said.


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Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.