Nevada regulator approves Eldorado’s proposed acquisition of Caesars

Eldorado’s acquisition of Caesars has been approved by Nevada’s regulator.

Eldorado Resorts’ proposed acquisition and subsequent merger with Caesars Entertainment has received regulatory approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) and Gaming Commission.

The deal still requires regulatory approval in New Jersey and Indiana but if approved, the deal could see Eldorado eclipse MGM Resorts International as the largest US casino operator, by bringing 60 casinos and resorts in 16 states under one umbrella.

Eldorado’s acquisition of Caesars

Eldorado and Caesars both announced the deal last year and will see Eldorado pay $17.4bn to take ownership of Caesars. Eldorado will fund the acquisition with $7.2bn in cash and approximately 77m Eldorado common shares.

The Merger was subject several closing conditions which included securing regulatory approval from Nevada’s regulator. In November, shareholders from both operators approved the deal, while regulators in other states approved the merger.

Eldorado initially planned to complete the acquisition before the of H1 2020, but due to the market conditions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it is not clear when the deal will be finalised.

In June, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also approved the deal, after requiring Eldorado to sell two of its casino venues to Twin River Worldwide Holdings in jurisdictions where the merger was deemed uncompetitive.

An uncompetitive deal?

The deal received a complaint under the Clayton Antitrust Act which argued that the proposed deal would harm the competing casino operators in several jurisdictions.

Concerns were raised over the South Lake Tahoe market on border of California and Nevada, the Shreveport and Bossier City market in Louisiana, and the Kansas City market in Kansas and Missouri.

The complaint argued that the merger would reduce the number of active casino operators in South Lake Tahoe from three to two and in the other markets, operators would reduce from five to four.

As a result of this, the FTC made its approval of the merger and acquisition conditional on Eldorado selling Eldorado Casino Shreveport in Louisiana, and the MontBleu Resort in Lake Tahoe.

Eldorado already agreed to sell the Isle of Capri Casino in Kansas City to Twin River

Twin River to purchase Eldorado venues

Earlier this month, Twin River announced it had completed the acquisition of Eldorado Resorts’ Ilse of Capri Casino in Kansas City, Missouri and the Lady Luck Casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

The purchase price of the acquisition was $230m and subject to customary adjustments.

In April, Twin River announced plans to acquire Eldorado Shreveport Resort and Casino in Louisiana and the Mont Bleu Casino Resort & Spa in Lake Tahoe, Nevada for $155m. Twin River also inked a separate deal to acquire the Caesars-owned Bally’s Atlantic City for $25m.

With these acquisitions, Twin River has managed to expand its US footprint. Once the deals are complete, Twin River will operate 12 casinos across eight states.

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