Back in June, officials within Eldorado Resorts announced that the company had agreed to formally merge with Caesars Entertainment. It’s the largest merger between casino companies in history. This week, three more states officially approved Eldorado Resorts’ new merger.
The process to combine these two companies was expected to take a long time. A huge number of states need to give permission for the two operators to join forces. Today, we’re going to look at what still needs to happen for these companies to merge.
Let’s get started!
Why Did Eldorado Resorts Purchase Caesars Entertainment?
Eldorado Resorts is one of the biggest and most successful casino companies in the world right now. It was founded in 1973 in Reno, Nevada. Over the years, it’s expanded across the country. Eldorado Resorts now operates 23 properties across 11 different states.
Since 2013, this company has worked hard to acquire new properties. First, it agreed to merge with MTR Gaming Group. In 2015, the company purchased Circus Circus Reno and a 50% stake in Silver Legacy from MGM Resorts International for $73 million.
In 2017, Eldorado acquired the Isle of Capri Casinos for an astounding $1.7 billion. Over the next few years, this Reno-based casino operator continued to purchase properties. By March of 2019, rumors began to surface that Eldorado was going to purchase Caesars Entertainment.
The timing of this deal made sense. Caesars Entertainment had fallen into debt and was looking for a way to turn things around. By June, Eldorado revealed that it was purchasing the fellow Nevada-based company for an astounding $17 billion. The goal of this deal is to help Eldorado expand its presence across the country.
A deal of this magnitude can’t be completed in a day, though. A huge number of state gambling commissions need to ensure that this will not create a monopoly-like situation. Fortunately, this process of approval is moving along smoothly.
Three States Approve Eldorado Resorts’ New Merger
Ever since June, Eldorado Resorts has been seeking approval from various state gambling commissions. It’s already received approval from many major states yet there’s still a long way to go before this merger is finalized. This week, three additional states announced they have approved Eldorado Resorts’ new merger.
The commissions in Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Illinois all gave this deal the green light. The Louisiana approval is particularly exciting, as the company will soon operate several new gambling venues in the state. There are still some important states that are holding out, though.
Approval in New Jersey will be extremely important. Officials within Atlantic City have raised concerns over the impact that this deal will have on other casinos in the city. With that being said, it seems unlikely that this state’s gambling commission will choose not to approve the new merger.
Nevada is another important state that has yet to formally approve this deal. Based on the way things are moving, the merger between Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment will be completed by mid-2020. The Federal Trade Commission still needs to agree to it, as well.
Eldorado Resorts’ new merger will create the single largest casino company in the United States. It will be extremely interesting to watch this deal progress over the next couple of months.
Major Las Vegas Property Sales Continue
There have certainly been some major changes to the US casino industry lately. Of course, not every company is looking to merge with others. Several huge casino operators have instead looked at property sales as a way to generate additional revenue.
This is especially true with MGM Resorts International. The Las Vegas-based company has recently sold several of its biggest and most profitable casino-resorts in Las Vegas. The first came back in October when MGM sold both The Bellagio and Circus Circus. The sale of The Bellagio earned the company more than $4 billion, making it the biggest in Las Vegas history.
A few months later, MGM Resorts announced that it was selling the Mandalay Bay Hotel-Casino.
Not all of these sales aren’t exactly what they appear, though. MGM has chosen to lease back several properties and retains control of its operations. It’s currently paying $245 million per year to keep operating The Bellagio.
Depending on how successful Eldorado Resorts’ new merger with Caesars Entertainment is, more companies may choose to take a similar approach. For now, several casino companies are simply choosing to part with their venues as a way to earn more revenue.
There is a lot happening in the US casino industry. Stay tuned for more updates over the next few months!