A major milestone
The New Jersey Casino Control Commission approved the acquisition of Caesars Entertainment by Eldorado Resorts on Friday by a 2-0 vote after hearing hours of testimony spread over three days. This was the final regulatory hurdle in the way of the $17.3bn merger.
The commission is normally made up of three members, but former commissioner Sharon Anne Harrington retired at the start of July. Thus, only chairman James Plousis and commissioner Alisa Cooper cast votes.
requirement to make $400m worth of investments in its Atlantic City properties
As part of the approval, the new combined company must meet 40 conditions. Among them is a requirement to make $400m worth of investments in its Atlantic City properties over a three-year period. If the sale of Bally’s to Twin River does not go through, the company will need to put another $125m into a trust account for improvements. An assurance that no property will be closed within five years was also required.
The vote was originally supposed to be held on Thursday, but two Atlantic City casinos submitted petitions in an attempt to provide testimony before a decision was made.
Ocean Casino Resort and Hard Rock Atlantic City wanted to express their concerns regarding competition and market saturation. The Commission deemed the requests too late and did not allow the casinos to give any testimony.
Final regulatory step
Eldorado and Caesars have had to get approval from numerous regulators in recent weeks. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved the deal in June.
The Nevada Gaming Commission and Nevada Gaming Control Board gave their seal of approval to the deal on July 8, while the Indiana Horse Racing Commission and Indiana Gaming Commission approved the merger in the past week. Regulatory agencies in other states had previously given the green light to the acquisition.
The new company will be called Caesars Entertainment and will be listed on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol CZR. The deal was first announced in June 2019 and missed its original deadline of March 25. Eldorado has been paying daily ticking fees to Caesars for every month that had passed after the deadline.