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Eldorado gets more state approvals

Mon, Jan 20, 1:00pm by Noah Taylor

As the acquisition of Caesars by Eldorado Resorts powers towards completion, the latter has to find approval from gambling regulators in all areas where business is conducted.

Calvin Ayre reports that Eldorado was given a nod of approval by regulators in Missouri last month for the merger, and has just announced that it has taken another step forward.

The Louisiana Gaming Board has just greenlighted the merger, as well.

Eldorado acknowledged the LGCB’s acceptance in a statement last week, explaining, “Eldorado announced that at a meeting today, the company received approval from the LHCB in connection with its pending acquisition of Caesars Entertainment Corporation, subject to customary conditions.”

Sixteen states, including Nevada and New Jersey still have to agree to the merger, but getting the second approval is a step in the right direction.

Once this acquisition finally wraps up, what will emerge is the largest gaming company in the United States.

Both Eldorado and Caesars are having to shed some of their properties to reduce the financial burden and to make the deal more apparent, and Louisiana’s approval comes just after Eldorado sold its Eldorado Resort and Casino in Shreveport to Maverick Gaming for $230 million in cash.

That sale reduced the post-merger footprint to just five properties in Louisiana, including Isle of Capri, the Belle of Baton Rouge, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, Harrah’s New Orleans and Horseshoe Bossier City.

Given that there was no resistance on the part of the gaming board, it is unlikely that any further reduction in the Pelican State will be necessary.

However, there will be other properties eliminated from the long list of gambling venues controlled by the two companies, especially in Nevada.

Caesars has already begun work on shrinking its level of activity in the state, making a move to sell the iconic Rio and Harrah’s Rio.

The latter deal was just announced last week, and will see the property sold to Vici Properties, a real estate investment trust, for $50 million.

Eldorado sells two properties

Casino operator Eldorado Resorts has unloaded two of its properties to rival Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Calvin Ayre reports.

Last Thursday, Eldorado announced that it had reached a deal to sell its Isle of Capri Casino Kansas City in Missouri and its Lady Luck Casino Vicksburg in Mississippi to TWH for $230 million in cash, subject tot a working capital adjustment.

The deal, which remains subject to regulatory approvals, expected to close early next year.

Eldorado says it plans to use the cash for general corporate purposes, including its recent $17.3 billion acquisition of rival Caesars Entertainment.

That deal was expected to result in the trimming of multiple properties from the two firms’ respective property portfolios, and the cuts are likely far from over.

TWRH has been undergoing its own enlargement of late, including a deal for three Colorado casinos and its merger with Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment.

TWRH chief executive officer George Papanier said the two Eldorado venues were “a great fit for our portfolio” and would expand his company’s geographic reach into “attractive markets.”

TWRH owns and operates two Twin River casinos in Rhode Island under a long-term agreement with the Rhode Island Lottery, which under the state constitution is responsible for nearly game all games of chance.


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