ldorado Resorts announced that at a meeting Thursday the company received approval from the Mississippi Gaming Commission for its pending acquisition of Caesars Entertainment Corporation. The transaction is expected to be closed within the first half of 2020 and remains subject to the receipt of all required regulatory approvals.
Regulatory bodies in other five states —Missouri, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Iowa— also have approved the merger. The two casino companies will need to gain approval from regulatory bodies from all 17 states in which the merged company will operate, including Nevada, before the deal can close. It also will need approval from the Federal Trade Commission. The $17.3 billion merger would give Eldorado control of nearly 60 casinos.
There is no set timetable for New Jersey regulators to make a determination on the merger. There has been little said publicly about the merger from either New Jersey regulators or the Atlantic City operators. Bob Ambrose, an industry consultant and adjunct professor of casino management, said that could be because of the potential impact the deal could have on the market, which could be more significant in Atlantic City than anywhere outside of Nevada, The Press of Atlantic City reports.
In New Jersey, two regulatory bodies, the state Division of Gaming Enforcement and the Casino Control Commission, will be responsible for reviewing and approving the deal, respectively. New Jersey and Atlantic City will play a critical role in the deal since the newly formed company, which will retain the Caesars name, would control four of the seaside resort’s nine casinos.
New Jersey gaming regulators will have to decide if the company’s operation of Bally’s Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City and Tropicana Atlantic City would create an undue economic concentration. Absent any changes, the proposed gaming company would employ 40% of the industry’s workers and represent nearly 37% of total gaming revenue in Atlantic City.