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Wednesday, June 29, 2022
GoLocalProv Business Team
Union workers at Bally’s voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to go on strike as early as July 1.
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Bally’s at NYSE in 2020 PHOTO: Company
The vote took place the same day as the company announced a $1 billion deal to sell and then lease back both the Lincoln and Tiverton facilities.
The union said 92% of union casino workers to go on strike as soon as next month.
“The results are in, and the majority voted ‘YES’ for a strike,” said one of the unions at the facilities, UNITE HERE Local 26.
Voting took place at the “Strike Campaign Headquarters,” a trailer in Smithfield a short drive from Bally’s Twin River Casino in Lincoln.
“Over the last few days, workers had signed up to cast their ballots during designated time slots. Many of them stopped by to vote on their way to or from work,” according to the union.
The union contract at Bally’s Twin River Casino expires on July 1, 2022, and the workers say they have “two key, reasonable demands”– increased staffing and more full-time schedules; and wage increases that match the rising costs of living.
A Bally’s spokesperson said in a statement, “Bally’s doesn’t comment in the press on personnel matters. Our preference is to continue to engage in negotiations directly with our union colleagues.”
According to the union, Bally’s and the union bargained for the first time last Friday, June 24. They will meet again on Wednesday to negotiate.
If they do not reach an agreement that resolves staffing, scheduling, and wage issues, the workers will go on strike as early as July 1.
The Lease Back Deal – $1 Billion
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RI and company leaders at a groundbreaking in 2021. PHOTO: GoLocal
Bally's Corporation announced Tuesday has entered into a binding term sheet with GLP Capital, L.P. (“GLPI”), the operating partnership of Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. to acquire the real property assets of Bally's two Rhode Island casino properties – Bally's Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort and Bally's Tiverton Casino & Hotel
Bally's will immediately lease back both properties and continue to own, control, and manage all the gaming operations of the facilities on an uninterrupted basis. Bally's will be paid $1 billion.
Bobby Lavan, Chief Financial Officer of Bally's, said, “Bally's is excited to enter into this transaction with GLPI, further strengthening our growing relationship. The transaction will provide the Company with significant, long-term liquidity, ensuring that Bally's is best positioned to continue executing its capital and strategic plan, as well as to capitalize on future opportunities presented in the market.”
Both properties are expected to be added to the existing Bally's Master Lease (the “Master Lease”) between GLPI and Bally's, with incremental rent of $76.3 million. The Master Lease has an initial term of 15 years (with 14 years remaining) followed by four five-year renewals at the tenant's option.
Normalized rent coverage on the Master Lease – which includes Bally's Dover Casino Resort, Bally's Evansville Casino & Hotel, Bally's Quad Cities Casino & Hotel and Bally's Black Hawk Casinos – is expected to be 2.0x in the first calendar year following the completion of the acquisition of the real property assets of Bally's Rhode Island properties.
In connection with GLPI's commitment to consummate the Bally's acquisitions, it also agreed to pre-fund, at Bally's election, a deposit of up to $200 million, which will be credited or repaid to GLPI at the earlier of closing and December 31, 2023. In addition, Bally's will pay a $9 million transaction fee at closing.
The deal does require regulatory and lender approvals.
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