The Indiana Gaming Commission has approved the merger of Caesars Entertainment and Eldorado Resorts, but on the condition that the companies sell three of their casinos in The Hoosier State.
In late June, the Federal Trade Commission approved of the $17 billion deal for Eldorado and Caesars to merge. That was expected to be the final major hurdle in the way, with just three states left to approve of the merger.
On July 8, Nevada gave its approval, with the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission meeting separately to consider the contract between the two casino giants.
Then on Friday, the IGC approved the deal but on condition that the merged company, which owns a combined five casinos in Indiana, put three of those facilities on the block. The Indiana Horse Racing Commission followed on Monday by also approving the merger, according to a Las Vegas Review-Journal report.
Eldorado CEO Thomas Reeg told the IHRC on Monday that the merged company would agree to sell the Caesars Southern Indiana Casino in Elizabeth, the Horseshoe Hammond Casino and the Tropicana Casino in Evansville, according to a Times of Northwest Indiana report. Under the merger, Eldorado would acquire two Caesars properties, the Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville and Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson.
Now only approval in New Jersey remains, and that state’s regulators are slated to meet this week to finish the deal. The Caesars casino in Atlantic City, which offers online casino gaming as well as a brick-and-mortar facility, is one of that city’s flagship brands.
Both Eldorado and Caesars agreed to their deal, which will create the largest gaming company in the Unites States, in June 2019. Under the agreement, the combined company will operate under the Caesars brand.
Since then the companies have overseen a long, arduous process of regulatory appeals and the sale of several properties by both entities.
For instance, this summer, Eldorado sold two casinos – the Isle of Capri Casino in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Lady Luck Casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi – to Twin River Worldwide Holdings for a combined $230 million. Before that, Twin River agreed to purchase three casinos from the soon-to-be-merged corporate entity: The Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino in New Jersey, the Mont Bleu Casino & Spa in Lake Tahoe, Nevada and the Eldorado Shreveport Resort and Casino in Louisiana.
As for Indiana, the IGC told the companies that they’d have to keep the same staffing while reducing their holdings statewide from five casinos to two. Caesars owns four Indiana casinos: Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Caesars Southern Indiana Casino in Elizabeth, Horseshoe Hammond Casino in Hammond and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville. Eldorado owns one casino in Evansville, the Tropicana.
But even amid all of these sales, Caesars continues to push forward with other projects. Caesars was chosen as the preferred casino partner for a proposed $400 million project in Danville, Virginia; construction is contingent on Danville votes approving of the project in a referendum coming this November.
Eldorado owns 21 facilities in 11 states. Caesars owns 39 casino properties around the country and 53 worldwide.