The proposed $17.3 billion deal that is to see American casino giant Caesars Entertainment Corporation merge with smaller rival Eldorado Resorts Incorporated reportedly passed its final hurdle late last week after being approved by gaming regulators in the eastern state of New Jersey.
According to a report from the Associated Press news service published by US News and World Report, the Friday decision from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission means that the two Nevada companies will now be able to complete their planned union from as soon as later this week so as to create the world’s largest single casino operator with a portfolio of 55 properties in 16 states.
The Associated Press reported that the envisioned amalgamation was sanctioned by the Federal Trade Commission on June 26 and has furthermore received analogous backing from gaming regulators in the states of Maryland, Iowa, Louisiana, Indiana, Illinois, Nevada, Mississippi and Pennsylvania. The alliance is purportedly moreover destined to see the combined entity rebranded as Caesars Entertainment Incorporated and be responsible for three of the nine casinos in the gambling hotspot of Atlantic City encompassing Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, Tropicana Atlantic City and Caesars Atlantic City.
However, the news service reported that anti-competition concerns connected to the coming merger prompted Caesars Entertainment Corporation to agree a $25 million deal in April that is to see it offload its Bally’s Atlantic City venue to Rhode Island-based operator Twin River Worldwide Holdings Incorporated. This latter firm is also soon purportedly due to take possession of a further four properties owned by the combining pair in the Lady Luck Casino and Hotel Vicksburg, Isle of Capri Casino Kansas City, Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport and Montbleu Resort Casino and Spa Lake Tahoe.
The Associated Press reported that the New Jersey approval is a big win for billionaire American businessman Carl Icahn as he has been a leading proponent of the union ever since purchasing a large interest in Las Vegas-headquartered Caesars Entertainment Corporation in 2017. The 84-year-old is now destined to become the largest single shareholder in Caesars Entertainment Incorporated courtesy of an over 10% stake and work towards helping the newly-enlarged firm, which is additionally to be responsible for gambling-friendly properties in the United Kingdom, Canada and Egypt, maximize its potential.
Thomas Reeg, Chief Executive Officer for Eldorado Resorts Incorporated, reportedly promised members of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission that the newly-combined operator would be keeping its remaining trio of Atlantic City venues open until at least 2026. He purportedly similarly pledged that the firm intends to spend upwards of $400 million on improving these properties over the course of the next three years and would commit to reinvesting at least 5% of their annual revenues after that.