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Eldorado Resorts Sells Three Casinos In West Virginia And Missouri

Sale Frees Up $385 Million And Sparks More Rumors About Impending Merger With Caesars

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Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & ResortEldorado Resorts sold three of their casinos earlier this week, sparking rumors that the sale took place to free up capital for a merger with Caesars.

Eldorado sold two of its Missouri properties and one in West Virginia to Century Casinos and VICI Properties, according to a report from the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Century Casinos agreed to pay $107 million for the operating assets, while VICI Properties agreed to a $278 million price tag for the real estate assets of Isle Casino Cape Girardeau and Lady Luck Casino in Missiouri, and Moutaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort in West Virginia.

The sale frees up $385 million, which some in the gaming industry believe might be the first step to the possible merger with Caesars, which was reported last week.

“Eldorado will continue to benefit from our geographically diverse portfolio of regional gaming assets that we believe have potential for further margin growth and increased cash flow,” said Eldorado CEO Thomas Reeg in a statement.

Daniel Politzer, a J.P. Morgan analyst, released a report that stated this sale frees up for Eldorado to pursue mergers and acquisitions. The report singled out Caesars as one of the more likely deals they would pursue.

“It gives [Eldorado] a little more capacity for possible M&A,” said Politzer in the report.

The sale reduces the number of casinos Eldorado owns in Missouri from five to three. In the event of a merger between the two casino giants, a combined four properties would be more palatable for regulators and make the deal easier to complete.

Billionaire Carl Icahn announced that he owns a 12 percent stake in Caesars Entertainment and has been pushing for a sale or merger for several month. Icahn has history in dealing with Eldorado when his Tropicana Entertainment was sold to Eldorado for $1.85 billion.

Current Caesars CEO Anthony Rodio was one of the main architects of that deal.