Caesars Entertainment Inc. finalized the merger with Eldorado Resorts Inc. On Monday. The $17.3-billion merger has created the largest casino company in the United States. The merger was announced over a year ago, but lockdowns and other delays pushed the plan forward.
The two casino giants announced the completion of the merger after receiving final approval from New Jersey gaming regulators. Caesars CEO Tom Reeg made an official statement at a press conference on Monday.
“We are pleased to have completed this transformative merger, thus making us the premier leader in gaming and hospitality,” Reeg said. “We look forward to executing on the numerous opportunities ahead to create value for all stakeholders.”
There are now 55 casino properties controlled by the new casino company, with locations in 16 U.S. states, including New Jersey, Nevada, Colorado, and Louisiana. The new company also operates international casino resorts as well.
The merger was due for completion in the first half of 2020, but the coronavirus reared its ugly head. The resulting casino lockdown and subsequent loss in revenue caused the two companies to scramble for a solution. Eldorado Resorts sold the Montbleu Resort Casino Lake Tahoe as well as the Eldorado Shreveport Casino in Louisiana in a bid for more liquidity. Caesars also dropped out of the Japan casino resort race in order to preserve resources for the planned merger.
Once the pandemic struck, Eldorado was forced to sell some of its assets at much lower rates after casino stocks plunged. Nevada was at the epicenter of the pandemic lockdowns after Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered the closure of all casinos due to coronavirus. The casinos only reopened on June 4 after a 3-month lockdown.
The merger began in an economic environment much different than today. The new mega-resort giant has to deal with recent pandemic revenue losses and an $8-billion debt liability. Still, the new casino giant is optimistic, and hopes to use its dominant market position to quickly recover from recent losses.
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