Nevada casino regulators are set to review the proposed $17.3 billion merger between Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment Corp. later this week, according to a joint meeting agenda released July 1.
Both the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission are set to meet back to back at 9:30 am on July 8 and have included the deal to the matters that will be discussed and voted on.
The Silver State regulators’ upcoming vote on the mega-merger is welcome news after Eldorado and Caesars secured late last month clearance from the Federal Trade Commission to combine their operations.
The combination will create the largest US casino operator by number of properties owned. The deal was first announced in June 2019.
Nevada is one of the few states left where regulatory approvals for the finalization of the tie-up are still pending. Regulators in Indiana and New Jersey are, too, yet to vote on the deal. Their boards have scheduled meetings on July 10 and July 15, respectively.
Ticking Fee Lifts Price Tag
The merger between Caesars and Eldorado was originally expected to close by the end of March. However, the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States in mid-March causing major disruptions in the casino industry and eventually delayed the finalization of the deal.
Eldorado will now probably look to close the tie-up as quickly as possible as the company is paying $2.3 million in ticking fees a day since April 1 because it was not able to complete the transaction within the above predetermined deadline.
This lifts the price tag for the Caesars combination by more than $232 million through July 10. Yet, Eldorado CEO Tom Reeg said earlier this year that “the deal still makes financial sense for his company despite the higher cost” and that Eldorado would not look to renegotiate the fees. Mr. Reeg will step in as chief of the combined casino group.
FTC Orders Eldorado to Sell Lake Tahoe, Louisiana Properties
In its decision to back the mega-merger, the FTC required Eldorado to sell its Montbleu Resort Casino & Spa property at Lake Tahoe and Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport in Shreveport, Louisiana to address concerns that its ownership of the two properties could create an anti-competitive situation.
Eldorado was already in the process of selling the two properties to Rhode Island-based casino operator Twin River Worldwide Holdings. The transaction closed last week.
Eldorado originally announced earlier this year that it would sell the Lake Tahoe and the Shreveport casinos to Maverick Gaming for $230 million. However, that deal fell through due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Eldorado eventually sold the properties at a much lower price. Twin River paid $155 million to purchase the casinos.
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