Two of the nation’s gaming giants are combining to form an even larger entity in the coming months when Eldorado Resorts completes its acquisition of Caesars Entertainment.
The $17.3 billion mega-deal, which reportedly will entail Eldorado parting with $7.2 billion in cash and some 77 million shares of stock, is expected to close early in the second quarter of this year and form the largest gambling company in the United States.
Caesars’ new empire: 60 properties in 16 states
The new casino colossus will still carry the venerable Caesars name – a stipulation immediately agreed upon when the initial deal was struck late in the second quarter of 2019. However, the company will be run by Reno-based Eldorado Resorts, headed by chairman Gary Canaro and CEO Tom Reeg.
The Eldorado portfolio already features 26 properties in 12 states, and combined with Caesars Entertainment’s current assets – which include Caesars Palace, Bally’s and Harrah’s in Las Vegas and their namesakes in Atlantic City, N.J. in addition to the World Series of Poker brand – will grow to 60 properties in 16 states.
Overall, this makes for a third straight busy year on the transaction docket for Eldorado, which acquired Tropicana Entertainment in 2018 and then sold or agreed to sell in 2019 eight total assets worth an estimated total of $1.024 billion.
William Hill has exclusive rights to sportsbook operations
Eldorado’s current sportsbook operations are overseen and operated by William Hill US, and Eldorado solidified the partnership by taking a 20-percent equity stake in William Hill in 2019.
In a statement issued last year, William Hill said it has the exclusive rights to operate sportsbooks at all Eldorado-owned or -managed properties, including any new acquisitions.
Eldorado/William Hill in 2019 opened sports-betting operations Indiana (Tropicana Evansville) and Iowa (Isle Casinos in Bettendorf and Waterloo), going hand-in-hand with Reeg’s 2019 statement that the company is taking a “bullish” approach on sports wagering.
Up next would be the 29 Caesars-owned sportsbooks in seven states – pending completion of the acquisition – merging William Hill’s sports-wagering expertise and execution with the Caesar’s brand name.
Colorado’s Eldorado casinos applying for licenses
Caesars does not own any current Colorado casino/gaming properties.
Eldorado’s portfolio contains two: The Isle Casino Hotel and Lady Luck Casino, both in Black Hawk, but neither was among the first wave of properties to be approved for an in-state sports-wagering license with the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission.
However, the commission announced Monday, March 2 that it was convening for a special licensing meeting on March 5 in an attempt to alleviate the high volume of requests with Colorado’s May 1 go-live sports-wagering date now less than two months away, and it certainly was no surprise to see the both the Lady Luck and Isle casinos atop the agenda for discussion of their first master gaming licenses.
That means the soon-to-be mega-Eldorado/Caesars/William Hill brand likely will soon have its first sports-wagering stakes in the Centennial State.