Back in June, Eldorado Resorts announced it was paying more than $17 billion to acquire Caesars Entertainment. Before this deal could be finalized, however, the two companies need approval from several state gambling commissions. This week, Missouri approved the Eldorado-Caesars merger.
It’s a huge step in finally getting this deal finished. Of course, the companies still need approval from several other commissions. Let’s look at what led to Missouri’s official approval.
Officials Continue Working to Get Eldorado-Caesars Merger Done
Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment are two of the biggest casino companies in the world. Both currently operate gambling venues around the world. Since June, officials within both companies have been working to get their merger complete.
Eldorado has paid an astounding $17.3 billion to acquire Caesars and its venues. It’s the largest deal ever made between two gambling operators. For obvious reasons, Eldorado Resorts is looking at ways to make some of this money back.
One way to accomplish this goal is through property sales. In July, the company announced it was selling two of its major properties. In the future, many more of these sales will begin taking place.
Eldorado already has plans to sell some of Caesars’ properties in Las Vegas. This is becoming more common nowadays, with MGM recently selling two of its biggest Las Vegas venues over the past few months.
It’s been a long, difficult road for these companies to complete this merge. Approval is still needed around the country. Fortunately, one state has just finally given the green light for the deal to go through.
Missouri Lawmakers Approve Merger This Week
Both Eldorado and Caesars need approval from all 17 states that they operate in. This is a crucial and difficult process in getting the Eldorado-Caesars merger completed. On Wednesday, members of Missouri’s gambling regulatory body announced they were accepting the terms of the merger.
Caesars Entertainment currently operates one property in Missouri, called Harrah’s North Kansas City. Eldorado Resorts runs four different venues here. Isle of Capri Casino Boonville, Isle Casino Cape Girardeau, Lady Luck Casino Caruthersville and Isle of Capri Casino Kansas City are all run by the major casino company.
Interestingly, Eldorado plans to put three of these venues up for sale. It’s clear the company is hoping to make as much money from its real estate as possible.
Eldorado Resorts CEO Tom Reeg recently commented on the timetable for the merger’s completion to the media.
“We’re still targeting a first half of 2020 closing date,” Reeg told investors during a third-quarter earnings call in November. “If I were to place a bet today, I’d be betting on a first-quarter close versus a second-quarter close. But we’re going through regulatory and antitrust in real time.”
It’s an exciting time for these companies. Hopefully, Missouri’s approval of the Eldorado-Caesars merger helps push other states to do the same.
Are More Las Vegas Property Sales on the Horizon?
As we’ve already mentioned, hotel-casino sales seem to be the new fad taking place in Las Vegas. In 2019 alone, some of the city’s biggest and most popular venues have changed ownership. One that many expected was the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s sale to Virgin Hotels.
Virgin Hotels is still extremely new and has limited experience in the casino industry. Officials in the company are working with professionals to deliver the best possible product. Based on what we know about this venue, it’s going to be fantastic.
MGM Resorts International is also focused on selling some of its venues. Not long ago, it sold Circus Circus to Phil Ruffin. That same month, it sold The Bellagio for more than $4 billion. It will now lease the property back from The Blackstone Group.
Several other companies including Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands also claim that Las Vegas property sales are a possibility for the future. All of these companies are focused hard on breaking into the newly-emerging Japanese market.
The Eldorado-Caesars merger is moving ahead as planned. Time will tell how these two companies will manage together.
Stay tuned for more US casino news over the next few months!