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Casino giants Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment announced a $17.3 billion merger Monday, making the new company the largest owner and operator of U.S gaming assets.
Eldorado will acquire all of Caesars’ shares to form a new combined company which will operate under Ceasars’ name, “to capitalize on the value of the iconic global brand,” according to a news release issued by Eldorado.
The company will own about 60 casinos in 16 states across the country and it will be headquartered in Reno, according to the release.
“The combined entity will serve customers in essentially every major U.S. gaming market and will marry best-of-breed practices from both entities to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction and significant shareholder returns,” Eldorado CEO Tom Reeg said in a prepared statement. “We intend to allocate the significant free cash flow from the combined company to reduce leverage while investing to improve the customer experience across the platform.”
The merger has been approved by the Eldorado and Caesars boards of directors, but still needs to be approved by shareholders. It is expected to go through in the first half of 2020, according to the release.
“We believe this combination will build on the accomplishments and best-in-class operating practices of both companies,” Ceasars CEO Tony Rodio said in a prepared statement. “I’m familiar with Eldorado and its management team, having worked with them on a previous transaction, and I look forward to collaborating with them to bring our companies together.”
Across its properties, Eldorado’s operates about 23,000 slot machines and video lotteries, 12,000 hotel rooms and 650 table games. Ceasars operates about 48,000 slot machines and video lotteries, 39,000 hotel rooms and 3,000 table games, according to the release.
Eldorado and Caesars both have casinos near South Lake Tahoe and in Reno.