Caesars Entertainment and Eldorado Resorts are just a couple of steps away from completing the merger that would probably be the biggest casino industry event of the decade. Everyone who doubted that this would ever happen is beginning to withdraw their doubts as the merger is now more likely than ever.
By merging, the two companies will basically create the biggest casino operator in the US, but to do that, they must meet approvals from regulators in various states. Namely, all states where casinos are legal and either of these companies are present should provide official approval of the merger. Only after all approvals are submitted can the merger actually take place.
The first regulator to approve the merger was from Missouri last December. Not an entire month after that, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board joined Missouri in signing approvals for the merger. However, two approvals were not enough, so those advocating for the merger weren’t sure how much it would take for all regulators to give the approval. It turns out that they will not have to wait long.
Three additional regulators signed approvals in the past couple of days, meaning that the merger will definitely happen some time in the first half of 2020. Eldorado stated in an official statement that three additional regulatory bodies gave the green light for the merger, including the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission (PSHRC), the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB), and the Louisiana Racing Commission (LRC), which operates independently from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.
The LRC permission was necessary, as Caesars property Harrah’s Louisiana Downs has offers related to horse racing. Moreover, the PSHRC also had to give approval, as Caesars’ property called Harrah’s Philadelphia offers online and land-based sports betting in the state.
When it comes to the state of Pennsylvania, the merger still has to get the green light from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
However, the best piece of news was that the Illinois Gaming Board provided the approval for the merger. Illinois is a state where the gambling industry is growing at a rapid rate.
Moreover, Caesars and Eldorado have a total of three properties there, so it was important to have Illinois regulators on their side.
Not Done Yet
The quest for getting approvals from states where the two operators are present is far from over, however. There are 15 more states that need to follow the examples of Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Missouri and state that they agree with the merger.
The two states that are currently in focus are Nevada and New Jersey. Both of them are gambling centers in the US, and Eldorado and Caesars have several properties in both. They are not expected to make any objections about the merger.
In other words, both Nevada and New Jersey are expected to provide approval very soon. When the two of them do that, other states will probably follow shortly after.
However, due to a huge presence in both Nevada and New Jersey, both Eldorado and Caesars have been actively selling some of their properties to scale down their business so that they can have complete control over it.
The state which is probably most likely to make its mind up about the merger next is Iowa. Regulators are meeting next week to discuss the merger and determine how it would impact the local market.
The gambling industry in the US is constantly changing and going forward, and it will definitely be interesting to see how the newly-formed company would fit in that landscape. Caesars brings a lot of issues with it, and Eldorado will to its best to save the day.