Eldorado-Caesars Merger Sets Up Strong Position In Indiana

Posted on July 6, 2020

The merger of Caesars and Eldorado could be clearing another hurdle next week.

State regulators in Nevada, New Jersey, and Indiana still need to approve the $17.3 billion merger.

The Indiana Gaming Commission has a meeting scheduled for July 10 to discuss the merger.

If the commission gives it the green light, it’ll be a big momentum boost for the whole process.

Eldorado merger finally has FTC approval

The biggest obstacle for the merger to close was getting approval from the federal government.

With 60 different properties moving under the same umbrella, the merger will create the largest gambling company in the US.

Since it’s such a massive deal between two huge companies, there were plenty of antitrust clearances to get past. The Federal Trade Commission had to ensure that the merger wouldn’t create an unfair monopoly over the gaming industry.

Eldorado announced that it was in the clear on June 26.

With that out of the way, Tom Reeg, the CEO of Eldorado Resorts, said that he’s looking forward to finally getting things set in stone.

“We are delighted to announce the FTC’s approval of our planned merger with Caesars, which is expected to create the largest owner and operator of US gaming assets. We look forward to completing the merger, subject to receipt of the remaining consents and approvals from regulators in Nevada, New Jersey and Indiana.”

When it’s all said and done, the new mega-company will carry the Caesars name rather than Eldorado. Despite sticking with the Caesars branding, Eldorado’s executives will be running the show.

What the Caesars merger means for Indiana

Assuming that the deal gets that final approval from state regulators, it will mean some changes for Indiana.

Caesars will own a big chunk of the state’s casinos once the deal closes, including:

  • Tropicana Evansville
  • Horseshoe Hammond
  • Indiana Grand
  • Caesars Southern Indiana
  • Harrah’s Hoosier Park
  • The Winner’s Circle locations in both Indianapolis and New Haven

The merger will also mix up Indiana’s sports betting market.

Caesars Sportsbook is already online throughout the Hoosier State, but it’s only one of the sportsbooks that Caesars will have a hand in post-merger.

Right now, Eldorado has a deal in place with William Hill for its sports betting needs.

Although the online sports betting app hasn’t launched yet in Indiana, William Hill is running the physical sportsbook at Tropicana Evansville.

There are also two more online sportsbooks in the mix here.

Eldorado has a partnership with the Stars Group, which is handling the launch of Fox Bet across the country.

Additionally, Caesars has a deal in place to work with Unibet Sportsbook in the Hoosier State.

So once Caesars and Eldorado are officially merged, the new beefed-up company will have Caesars Sportsbook, William Hill, Unibet, and Fox Bet as its online sports betting partners in Indiana.

Casino partners for Fox Bet, William Hill, and Unibet

Fox Bet, William Hill, and Unibet are still a ways away from coming online in Indiana.

Right now, Fox Bet doesn’t even have its temporary vendor license, which is the first step toward launching in the state.

Assuming that its launch happens post-merger, there will be a number of options for which casino will become Fox Bet’s land-based partner.

It could follow Caesars Sportsbook’s lead by hopping onto Horseshoe Hammond’s license, or Fox Bet could partner with a different Caesars property that doesn’t have any online partners yet. Harrah’s Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand could be two solid options for that.

The third option would be to tag Fox Bet onto the license of a soon-to-be-former Eldorado casino. In Indiana, that would mean Fox Bet partnering with Tropicana Evansville.

William Hill has had its license since August 2019, but it hasn’t announced any timeline for launching yet. When it finally does open up its digital doors, Tropicana Evansville will be its brick-and-mortar partner.

Unibet snagged its license back in February, but much like William Hill, it hasn’t announced when it will actually launch in Indiana. Horseshoe Hammond is Unibet’s casino partner.

So once the Caesars-Eldorado merger is complete, it will set up a new titan of the gambling industry. In Indiana alone, Caesars will have a hand in at least four online sportsbooks and five land-based casinos.

Caesars is expecting the Indiana Gaming Commission to approve the merger at that July 10 meeting. If that happens, Nevada and New Jersey will be the only two hurdles left for the merger to clear.

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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza is currently working as a Managing Editor for PlayIndiana and PlayOhio, with previous stops at other well-known brands such as PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. He has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.

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