Saratoga Harness Racing Inc and American Gaming Group LLC, the owner of Wildwood Casino, have abandoned the previously announced acquisition of Wildwood Casino. Both parties deemed the termination necessary because of the current economic impacts of the COVID-19 health crisis.
Despite the halt to the sale, planned improvements to the site remain on track for when it reopens. They include a sportsbook and new diner that will offer seating for Wildwood’s sports betting customers.
“At this time, we believe it’s in the best interest of both companies, and our respective casinos, to cancel the deal so we can focus on doing what’s best for our casinos and our players,” Joe Canfora, the owner of Wildwood Casino, said.
“At Wildwood, we’re taking this time to develop and implement an entire health and safety strategy that goes above and beyond state and local guidelines to better protect our players and provide a comfortable, safe environment for gaming.”
Among the new health and safety practices, Wildwood will have on-demand cleaning crews working throughout the casino to clean surfaces as needed and as requested by players. The casino will also be reducing its operating hours to allow for extended, deep cleaning every night. Additionally, management is looking into UV light technologies for potential air filtration and other newly discovered best practices for protecting patrons from the virus.
In mid-April, Wildwood distributed a digital survey to its player database asking for thoughts and feelings regarding the current pandemic and what will be important when returning to the casino. Close to 1,400 players participated in the survey.
Assistant General Manager Matt Andrighetti said of the survey results: “We received a lot of great input from our players, and now we’re using their feedback to create a comprehensive health and safety plan that surpasses the county and state, mandatory precautions. Also, as the newest casino building in Cripple Creek, Wildwood features high ceilings and a single-level gaming floor to offer players a more spacious, less cramped environment.”