The Indiana Gaming Commission has declared that Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment will need to sell three casinos to get the green light for their planned merger. The $17.3 billion merger will create one of the world’s largest gaming companies. Indiana regulators said they were concerned over the “economic concentration” of the state’s casino market, as between them the two companies own five of the state’s 13 casinos. Eldorado’s acquisition of Caesars would hand it 60 percent of the state’s casino revenue.
The news comes days after Nevada approved the merger. The deal now needs the approval of Indiana and New Jersey regulators to go ahead. Eldorado owns Tropicana casino in Evansville, while Caesars owns Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, Horseshoe Hammond, Caesars Southern Indiana and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.
According to an Associated Press report, Eldorado CEO Thomas Reeg said that the Tropicana casino, Caesars Southern Indiana and Horseshoe Hammond were the three likely casinos up for grabs. The IGC didn’t specify which three casinos needed to be sold but they warned the companies that they would not be permitted to reduce staff at the remaining casinos for three years.
“We are open to any employment conditions that you would impose upon the combined company. We do not see significant cuts in the Indiana assets. We didn’t see that prior to COVID, as I said,” Tom Reeg, Eldorado Resorts CEO, said during the virtual meeting. “Post-COVID a lot of it’s going to be impacted by what operations we’re allowed to bring back, but Indiana job cuts are not a material percentage of any savings that we see going forward.”
Nevada-based Eldorado Resorts announced plans to acquire and merge with Caesars Entertainment Corp. in June 2019. The deal required approval from the federal government, stockholders and the gaming authorities in operating states. As originally proposed, the merger would create the largest casino operation in the U.S.— 60 properties in 16 states, including Indiana.
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