In a remarkable achievement, Delaware Park Casino & Racing has announced the successful completion of its much-anticipated renovation project, signaling a new era for the renowned entertainment destination. The project initially revealed in 2023, was designed to revamp the main gaming space and introduce exciting new amenities, and now patrons can witness the stunning transformation.
The main gaming space, the heart of the casino, has undergone a comprehensive overhaul to enhance the overall experience for visitors. The thoughtful redesign incorporates modern aesthetics, cutting-edge technology, and a layout aimed at maximizing both comfort and excitement.
The ambitious renovation project, guided by a $10 million budget, was unveiled in 2023 as part of the casino’s commitment to modernization and elevating the overall guest experience. The project encompassed a comprehensive redesign of the main gaming space and the introduction of enticing amenities, signaling a fresh chapter for Delaware Park Casino & Racing.
Delaware Park Racetrack acquisition in 2021
The casino changed ownership in November 2021 when Canadian private equity firm Clairvest Group and Rubico Gaming acquired the property for a reported $90 million. This strategic acquisition, reportedly valued at $90 million, paved the way for a fresh chapter in the storied history of Delaware Park Casino & Racing.
Clairvest Group, known for its ventures in various industries, joined forces with Rubico Gaming, a gaming entity steered by Thomas Benninger. Benninger, recognized as the founder of Global Leveraged Capital Advisors and a former board member of Caesars Entertainment, brought a wealth of experience and insight to the entire renovation process.
The central Clairvest firm, recognized for its smart investments across diverse sectors, entered the scene with a minority share acquisition valued at $19 million. Simultaneously, one of Clairvest Group’s managed equity funds secured the majority stake in the property, making a substantial investment of $71 million.
This move demonstrated the firm’s trust in the long-term prospects of Delaware Park Casino & Racing, viewing it as a strategic asset within its diversified investment portfolio. The Rickman family bid farewell to their 38-year ownership of Delaware Park Casino & Racing in 2021, marking the end of an era.
Under the four-decade-long ownership of the Rickman family, Delaware Park Casino & Racing became synonymous with gaming and entertainment in the region.
However, the change in ownership in 2021 brought fresh perspectives and a commitment to revitalizing the iconic venue. The transition in ownership, marked by the departure of the Rickman family and the entrance of Clairvest Group and Rubico Gaming, was not merely a change in hands but a strategic move to secure a vibrant future for Delaware Park Casino & Racing.
At the time of the acquisition process, the property encompassed an expansive 100,000 square feet of gaming space. The multifaced casino also offered guests seasonal thoroughbred racing and simulcasting from all corners of the world all year round.
Acquired by the Rickman family in 1983 during a period of potential closure, Delaware Park faced increased competition from racetracks in neighboring states. Thankfully, ensuring legislative developments, including the legalization of slot machines in 1995, table games, and parlay sports betting in 2009, positioned Delaware Park for growth.
After the 2018 Supreme Court ruling, Delaware became the first state, outside of New Jersey or Nevada, to offer live sports betting, contributing to a significant boost in its gambling revenue.
Delaware Park Casino & Racetrack stands as the sole casino in New Castle County, holding a distinctive position as the only thoroughbred track within the state, featuring races from May to October. In the financial year 2020, the casino reported approximately $3.2 million in net gaming revenue, underlining its significance in the local gambling landscape.
The Rickman family, custodians of Delaware Park for nearly four decades, strategically divested their other property, Oceans Down in Maryland, five years ago. The sale involved a joint venture comprising the owners of the Saratoga Springs racetracks in New York and the iconic Churchill Downs in Kentucky.
This strategic move showcases the family’s adept navigation of the evolving gaming industry and its commitment to ensuring the vibrant future of Delaware Park as the sole casino and premier thoroughbred track in the state.
With the successful acquisition of Delaware Park Casino & Racetrack, Clairvest Group added yet another milestone to its extensive gaming portfolio. This strategic move marked Clairvest’s 14th platform investment in the gaming industry, reinforcing its position as a significant player in the gaming and entertainment sector.
Which changes can customers expect to see from the newly renovated Delaware Park casino?
The vast upgrades to the gaming floor include a host of luxurious additions designed to create a sophisticated and engaging atmosphere. Among the notable enhancements are the installation of exquisite bespoke chandeliers and lighting fixtures, creating a captivating ambiance throughout the gaming space.
Custom carpeting was also added to introduce a touch of opulence, complemented by new gaming furniture that combines style with comfort. The introduction of vaulted ceilings and striking murals further enhances the overall aesthetic appeal.
Dedicated gaming areas have been revamped to include a new high-end midi-baccarat pit and a high-end blackjack pit, catering to enthusiasts of these popular casino games. Slot machine enthusiasts can look forward to exciting new themes that promise an immersive gaming experience.
The renovation also extends to the amenities, with a larger VIP bar designed to offer a more exclusive and comfortable setting for discerning guests. Additionally, a brand-new noodle restaurant adds culinary diversity to the casino’s offerings, providing visitors with an array of dining options.
Delaware Park’s commitment to providing a world-class entertainment destination is evident in these carefully curated upgrades. The combination of aesthetic enhancements, dedicated gaming pits, and expanded dining choices is set to redefine the casino experience, making it a must-visit destination for gaming enthusiasts seeking luxury, variety, and excitement.