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Eldorado wins Nevada approval for Caesars acquisition


Eldorado Resorts has secured approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Gaming Commission to proceed with its proposed acquisition and subsequent merger with Caesars Entertainment Corporation.

The two operators first announced the deal last year, with Eldorado set to pay $17.3bn – $7.2bn in cash, and approximately 77m Eldorado common shares – to take ownership of the Caesars business.

The merger was subject to a number of customary closing conditions, including securing approval from authorities in Nevada. Shareholders from both Eldorado and Caesars in November also gave the deal the green light, while authorities in a number of other states have cleared the merger.

Eldorado had previously said it hoped to complete the acquisition before the end of the first half of 2020, but it is now unclear when the merger will be finalised.

Last month, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also approved the merger, after requiring Eldorado to sell two of its properties to Twin River Worldwide Holdings in markets where the deal was deemed uncompetitive.

The required sales – of the Eldorado Shreveport Resort and Casino in Louisiana and the Mont Bleu Casino Resort & Spa in Lake Tahoe, Nevada for a purchase price of $155m – were agreed in April. Twin River is to acquire each venue.

The deal had faced a complaint under the Clayton Antitrust Act, arguing that the proposed acquisition would harm competition for casino services in a number of regions.

Some concerns were raised over the South Lake Tahoe market on the California-Nevada border, the Bossier City/Shreveport market in Louisiana and the Kansas City market in Missouri and Kansas.

The complainant said the merger would reduce the number of active operators in the South Lake Tahoe market from three to two and in the other two markets from five to four.

The Commission agreed and made its approval conditional on Eldorado selling Eldorado Casino Shreveport in Louisiana, and the MontBleu Resort in Lake Tahoe. Eldorado had already agreed to sell the Isle of Capri Casino in Kansas City to Twin River.