Mardi Gras Casino and Resorts in Nitro, West Virginia has been acquired by hospitality company Delaware North, which owns the state’s only other greyhound racing track in Wheeling. The sale was completed on Tuesday, but no details about the agreement were disclosed.
In January, the international hospitality and entertainment company Delaware North announced its plans to purchase Mardi Gras Casino in Kanawha County. The property is located near the city of Nitro, West Virginia and includes a gaming floor, live greyhound racing track, several restaurants, as well as a 150-room luxury hotel. Until now, it was owned and operated by Hartman & Tyner, a property management company headquartered in Oakland County, Michigan.
In the January news release, Delaware North said that the agreement is pending approval from West Virginia Racing Commission and the West Virginia Lottery Commission. Now that the acquisition has been approved, a transition team has been sent to the property to make the process of change ownership as smooth as possible. This is the second facility for Delaware North in the state – the firm also owns Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack in Wheeling. It also has multiple gambling venues in New York, Illinois, Florida, Arizona, Arkansas, and Ohio.
Officials from Hartman & Tyner and Delaware North did not wish to disclose important details about the agreement, including the cost of the property. However, according to Charleston Gazette-Mail, who cites records in the Kanawha County clerk’s office, it is possible that the value of the deal is around $27.6 million. The owners’ (old and new) unwillingness to disclose such information may be linked with media reports from last year, according to which the family company Hartman & Tyner slipped into chaos and lawsuits after the death of one of its founders.
What Will the New Ownership Mean for the Casino
Kim Florence, president and general manager of Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack, commented the acquisition Tuesday and assured the community that the first priority of Delaware North was to take care of the employees of the casino resort. According to her, the casino and its Players Club will keep their names, while employees will be offered a company-matched 401(k) retirement savings plan. There will be different opportunities for pay raise and other benefits, too.
The new owner also plans to update the collection of slots at Mardi Gras Casino and offer customers some of the latest and highest quality slot machines on the market right now. The 90,000-sq.ft. gaming floor is also home to approximately 30 table games while the gambling venue also has live greyhound racing and off-track betting for greyhound and horse racing.
Interestingly, with the newly passed WV Sports Lottery Wagering Act, the casino operator will most probably introduce sports betting. This depends on a Supreme Court decision expected by early summer, which may declare the federal ban on sports betting unconstitutional. Florence expressed her hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will allow states to legalize sports wagering, saying that this would be a great revenue opportunity for Mardi Gras Casino and would diversify the gambling options offered to customers.