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Fiona Simmons December 29, 2020 3 min read
Caesars Entertainment Receives US Antitrust Clearance for Acquisition of William Hill
The largest casino company in the USA announced the early termination of the waiting period under the HSR Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 for the acquisition of William Hill.
The Acquisition Process is on Track
On Monday, Caesars Entertainment announced it has cleared the antitrust review of the casino operator’s pending $3.7 billion acquisition of bookmaker William Hill.
In a press release, Caesars said the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (HSR Act) has been terminated early and the operator continues on track with the next regulatory milestones.
“Caesars continues to progress through obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals required to close the transaction and is still aiming to complete the proposed combination in March 2021.”
William Hill shareholders gave green light to the proposed deal during an extraordinary meeting on November 19.
So far, Caesars has obtained approval from the Mississippi Gaming Commission on November 19, followed by the West Virginia Lottery on December 16.
Also, the transaction requires the go-ahead from gaming regulators in Nevada, New Jersey, Mississippi and Pennsylvania, as well as the final approval by the English High Court and administrative and post-closing approvals from other US agencies.
Caesars Already Owns 20% of William Hill
Caesars Entertainment merged with Eldorado Resorts on July 20, 2020 and now operates more than 50 gaming properties in 16 states, thus becoming the largest casino and entertainment company in the USA. The $17.3 billion merger is the final step of a long-running process initiated by Eldorado to acquire the popular Caesars gaming brand. The deal, which was first announced last year, created one of the world’s largest gambling companies.
Caesars and William Hill currently operate a joint sports-betting venture in the USA with 20% and 80% equity ownership respectively.
The British company’s American subsidiary has 12 sportsbook operations at Caesars’ properties in Nevada, Iowa and New Jersey and is set to rebrand additional Caesars sports betting properties. The mobile sports betting app, Caesars Sports Book by William Hill, will soon be launched in Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Nevada.
Caesars Finishes 2020 with the Completion of Major Deals
Caesars posted 3Q2020 net revenues of $1.4 billion, which corresponds to a rise of 52% on a GAAP basis and a 34% drop on a same-store basis versus the same quarter last year. The operator suffered a net loss of $926 million compared to net income of $37 million in the same quarter in 2019.
Some of the highlights of the year are the multi-year sports betting partnership with ESPN and the sale of Tropicana Evansville for $480 million to Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLPI) and Twin River Worldwide Holdings.