Eldorado Resorts continue to get state regulators’ approvals, with Maryland being the latest to signal the green light for the mega-merger deal with Caesars Entertainment to go ahead.
Another State’s Approval
The $17.3 billion merger deal between Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment that is expected to create the largest casino operator in the U.S. is progressing at a steady pace, with the latest news coming out from the Reno-based company that another state regulator, the Maryland State Lottery & Gaming Control Agency, has approved the deal to go ahead.
Getting Maryland regulatory body to sign off the deal was expected to be a walk in the park – there is no overlap between the two companies there, as Eldorado Resorts have no business in the state, but still necessary due to Caesars operating the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore.
Deal Completion During First Half Of 2020
Maryland is the seventh state where the gaming regulator has given its consent, after the Missouri Gaming Commission, in 2019, was followed by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and Illinois Gaming Board in January, and the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission and the Mississippi Gaming Commission in February, and the deal that, according to Eldorado’s CEO, Tom Reeg, will benefit all parties involved, is realistically expected to be completed during Q2 of 2020.
The completion of the merger requires all 17 states that both companies are merging their operations to give their approvals, with the Federal Trade Commission also giving its consent after that.
Divesting A Strip Property
Just a day before the news Maryland approved the merger broke out, Tom Reeg told investors that the deal was going along the plans, him being the CEO of the combined company that will have the Caesars name but Eldorado will have the majority stake in it.
Setting up the priorities ahead, the largest casino operator would have to sell a casino in Lake Tahoe, as Eldorado’s CEO mentioned, after confirming recently rumour-based reports that one of the first things management would do is to sell a property of Caesars that is on the Las Vegas Strip, but they will do that only after the completion of the merger, with realistic timetable expectations for such a sale to be completed within 12 months after that.
Besides that the high-end properties of the combined entity will have the Caesars name, Tom Reeg pointed out that the expectations for the future are that most of the Eldorado properties will have their name changed to either one of the two Caesars’ famous brands, Horseshoe and Harrah’s.
The conflicting issue ahead of the completion of the merger that remains unresolved is the one with the sports betting operations of the newly-formed company, with Eldorado having a long-term partnership deal with UK-based gambling operator William Hill that stipulates sports books’ management in all states where betting is or will become legal goes to the British company, and Caesars having its own sports book brand.