Eldorado Resorts is in the process of acquiring Caesars Entertainment in a $17.3 billion acquisition that will turn Eldorado into a powerhouse should the deal gain all the necessary approval required. So far things have been good for Eldorado-Caesars as the Federal Trade Commission gave them conditional approval on June 26.
Eldorado will have a total of 60 properties spread across 16 different states should it get final approval.
The conditional approval given by the FTC was subject to Eldorado selling two of its casinos in Shreveport, Louisiana and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The sale would put an end to any antitrust concerns.
The Eldorado-Caesars deal also needs regulatory approval from Nevada, New Jersey and Indiana. Nevada has already reviewed the matter and will make an announcement shortly while New Jersey is set to review the deal on July 15.
Indiana is not impressed with what they have seen so far and have laid down 22 different conditions that Eldorado is to meet for the state to give them the go ahead. One of the bigger concerns is that Indiana does not feel that Eldorado is fully committed to the horse racing industry in the state as evidenced by its past record concerning horse tracks in other states.
Eldorado Must Provide Firm Commitment
Eldorado currently owns the Tropicana Evansville casino in Indiana and will acquire another four Indiana casinos once the deal with Caesars is approved. Eldorado will gain possession of Horseshoe Southern Indiana in Elizabeth and Horseshoe Hammond which don’t have any horseracing.
However, the other two properties do have horseracing. They are the Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelby and Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson. Eldorado has already made it clear that it has plans to sell two properties in Indiana once the deal is completed but it did not indicate which two properties it plans to sell.
Indiana has taken the matter seriously as they hired horse racing expert F. Douglas Reed to provide a detailed analysis of Eldorado’s two racetrack casinos in Scioto Downs, Ohio and Pompano Park, Florida. The report wasn’t very impressive as Reed found that Eldorado did not have sufficient horseracing expertise to make any impact in Indiana. Reed also said that Eldorado had issues in the past managing racetracks.
Eldorado has assured Indiana gaming officials that it will look to expand the horseracing industry in Indiana. It will be interesting to see if Indiana accepts the commitment or pushes for a detailed plan on growing racing in the state.