NASDAQ-listed casino giant Eldorado Resorts Incorporated's $17.3 billion deal to takeover Caesars Entertainment Corporation property in Atlantic City will not be discussed by New Jersey gaming regulators at their June meeting, unidentified sources revealed.
Caesars Entertainment has agreed to sell Bally’s in Atlantic City to Eldorado but it is still unclear when the New Jersey Casino Control Commission (CCC) will discuss and approve it as unidentified sources said that the gaming regulators will likely not discuss the transaction at their upcoming meeting that is scheduled to take place on June 10, 2020. A few agenda items for the upcoming meeting are accessible online, but no mention of Eldorado-Caesars transaction is found in those documents.
The transaction aims to create the largest domestic entertainment company. But if the transaction is really not on the agenda for the New Jersey CCC’s June 10th meeting, the two casino giants’ efforts to conclude the deal in June will suffer another delay.
In March, some media reports indicated that the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement could make a recommendation on the proposed deal as early as the first half of this month, meaning it would have been May for the CCC to discuss it. As that time frame is not feasible now, the best-case scenario is the CCC either calling an emergency meeting later in June or making it a part of agenda sometime in July. State gaming regulators recently said that even if the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) gives its approval to the deal, it will not have sufficient time to reflect on it at its next meeting.
A few weeks back, Eldorado Resorts’ chief executive Tom Reeg told media reporters that they remained “optimistic” that the deal would get all necessary regulatory approvals by the end of June this year. However, he also acknowledged that there could be disruptions due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The Garden State’s regulators’ excuse of not-enough-time available to discuss the deal does not hold water as it has been roughly a year since the two entertainment giants announced their $17.3 billion transaction. Some believe that it is a potentially high regulatory hurdle for the deal because the combined entity would control four of the Atlantic City boardwalk’s nine casinos, which would hurt competition. Swirling rumors also indicate that the regulators could mull over the possibility of a venue closure.