Bally’s offers Richmond residents ownership stake in proposed casino

April 16, 2021
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Operator will partner with local entrepreneur, use crowdfunding platform.

Bally’s Corporation, which is a finalist in Richmond, Virginia’s search for an operator to build a casino resort in the city, on Friday said it will give all Richmond residents a chance to purchase an equity interest in, and become partial owners of, the casino.

Bally’s has said it will invest $650m in the resort, if chosen by city officials.

The operator said it will use a crowdfunding platform to give residents of Richmond a way to make investments in what would be called Bally’s Richmond Casino Resort.

Bally’s said it will partner with David Walton, a Richmond-based serial entrepreneur, known for founding the Black Pages of America, on the program.

Walton said he will help build awareness of the crowdfunding availability.

Bally’s has held a series of meetings with local residents, which it is referring to as a “listening tour.” Michael Monty, senior project manager of Bally’s Richmond, said the company has met with thousands of Richmonders on the tour, with a fourth session scheduled for April 19.

“Once Richmonders better understood the proposal, many expressed interest in becoming a part of it,” Monty said in a statement. “By allowing Richmond residents to own a part of Bally’s Richmond, we are further demonstrating our dedication and commitment to RVA and this project. We look forward to partnering with David Walton on this program, and are excited about the opportunity for Richmonders to own a piece of Bally’s Richmond and benefit from its success as a true stakeholder.”

Walton noted Bally’s has vowed its casino proposal will be a community-focused project that places Richmond first.

“The equity crowdfunding program represents one way for Bally’s to live up to that promise,” Walton said. “The purpose of the program is to allow all Richmond residents, not just those who may be more fortunate, the opportunity to invest in Bally’s Richmond, and I look forward to working with Bally’s and supporting that effort.”

Bally’s said additional information about the equity investment program will be forthcoming.

 

Public offering price set at $55 per share

Separately, Bally’s said it has priced its previously announced public offering of 11m shares of its common stock at $55 per share. The offering is expected to close on April 20, subject to customary conditions.

Underwriters will have the option to purchase up to an additional 1.65m shares for a period of 30 days.

Bally’s said it expects the net proceeds will be approximately $583.8m, or $671.4m if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full, before expenses.

The company said it intends to use the net proceeds to fund a portion of the cash consideration payable to shareholders of Gamesys Group plc upon consummation of the previously announced combination of Bally’s and Gamesys.

If the merger is not consummated, Bally’s said it will use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, which may include repayment of debt, repurchases of its common stock, capital expenditures, acquisitions and investments.

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