Ed Sutor, president and CEO of Dover Downs, is stepping down as the casino gets a new parent company in Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc.
"I think I'm leaving it in good hands," said Sutor, who has worked for Dover Downs for the last two decades.
The deal was approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and will likely resolve this week, according to Denis McGlynn, president and CEO of Dover Downs' parent company.
Sutor, 69, said the merger couldn't have come at a better time. Retirement had been on the table for last four years, but he didn't want to leave while the casino was losing money.
"When they announced the potential merger, it gave me the perfect opportunity to leave gracefully," he said. "I have six grand kids. I'd like to go back to them."
Dover Downs has struggled over the last decade to make a profit. Then in 2018 the casino posted a small net profit of $30,000.
One barrier to revenue was state taxes, according to Sutor. "I've been going down to Legislative Hall for years pleading with them to reduce the gaming taxes," he said. "I'm happy to say that happened last year."
In June 2018, the General Assembly passed a bill reducing the tax rate on slot revenue by 1 percent and cutting the tax rate on table games in half, totaling a $16.8 million tax cut for Dover Downs.
Sutor is positive about the acquisition by Twin River. It's such a large company, he said, that the shareholders of Dover Downs will now only own 7.25 percent of the whole company.
"Having the financial strength of a company like that, which is currently in acquisition mode to get better and more profitable, I think it's beautiful." Sutor said. "I think it's a perfect marriage."